Kids These Days

Kids

“I’m gonna miss practice. I have a hair appointment.”

My friend and I stared at each other in disbelief over her player’s text.

“Can you believe that?” said my friend who coaches high school girls.

“I can’t imagine telling my coach that,” I said. “I would’ve run laps for days.”

“And the thing is her mom is taking her.”

I empathized with my friend’s quandary. For 13 years, my husband and I have trained kids in sports performance. We’ve worked with parents who bring their child to us for two hours per week and expect us to kick little Billy’s butt so hard he sheds his baby weight two weeks before the season and magically gains fast feet and the stamina to pitch six games every weekend. Chances are little Billy will come to training having eaten a Toaster Strudel, cookies and fries for lunch and a cup of tomato soup after school. After his 10-minute warm-up, he’ll spend the remainder of workout bent over a waste basket. He leaves, and his parents will feed him a 1,500-calorie, high-fat, fast food dinner because it’s quick and convenient. We do our best to encourage Billy for the next few weeks, but when we talk to his parents about proper nutrition, they blame Billy and stop bringing him to workouts. It’s easy enough to find another trainer who will take their money without forcing them to examine how their decisions contribute to Billy’s performance.

On the flipside, I cannot count the times we have helped mom and/or dad lose weight through healthy eating yet when it comes to feeding their children, mom and dad settle for the same high-calorie, bad carbohydrate, high-fat foods they are eliminating. Why?

“We’re busy. It’s easier.”

“They’re picky.”

“They’re kids. It doesn’t affect them.”

Who is the adult? Who are the decision-makers? Kids eat foods and drink drinks adults purchase. Kids model our behaviors in every area of life. If we don’t show up for appointments, if we waste peoples’ time and consistently cancel at the last minute, when we don’t do what we don’t feel like doing, when we gossip, when our heads are buried in our phones, why would we expect kids to act any differently?

How is our lack of extreme ownership of disservice to kids? The next time you catch yourself saying, “Kids these days,” take a hard look at what you encourage them to get away with.

 

Who You See in the Mirror

 

 

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This is the mirror in my fitness training studio. I use it to instruct and improve peoples’ form. Eighty percent of training clients are women so you can imagine how that usually goes. Rarely do they look in the mirror and willingly comply. Almost always they grumble, “I hate looking at myself in the mirror,” and “I hate this mirror.” Some even refuse to look. They would rather risk injury than face the truth, adjust, and perform the movement correctly.

It goes deeper than lunges. I get it. When I look in the mirror, I can criticize myself with the best of you. Recently, I assured two people, on separate occasions, that I look hideous in patterned leggings. “Oh, you could wear anything!” they said. Um no. If only they saw what I had in that dressing room mirror. Eek.

We are our own worst critics, and we all have our reasons. Often, those ideas stem from insecurity, comparison, or something someone said. Like when I posted a before-and-after photo that documented my body fat loss. A woman dissed me for not being secure enough to accept myself as I was in my before picture and for having man arms in my after picture. It ticked me off at the moment. Before and after, I felt secure enough to share my results in hopes of encouraging others, but she didn’t know that and presented no desire to understand. Now, when I look in the mirror, I occasionally have to swat down the thought of “man arms” and I remind myself that at 5’2″ 125 pounds, I’m a far cry from a man. I’m exactly who God made me.

Actually, I like to look at myself in the mirror most of the time. It has much less to do with appearance and more to do with allowing myself to see myself created in the image of God. Working out is spiritual. Often, I lift reps I didn’t think I was capable of lifting, I run extra laps when I’d rather stop, I feel lighter and stronger, and I know exactly why. My strength, power, energy and focus come from the Lord, not from my own effort. When I accomplish hard work, I look into the mirror, and I see His glory. I see His Spirit dwelling within me. It’s why I like my arms and I will shamelessly flex my biceps. Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” I like my sweaty glow, my makeup-less, sometimes pale, pimply face because “those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5). I like who I see in the mirror because my reflection represents the Creator who molds me into my beautiful, confident, unique self.

We are all different, but we are all made in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). We should embrace that to the fullest. You can change who you see in the mirror when you start seeing God within you.

 

 

 

A Pre-Workout Prayer

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Because God sets all things into motion, it is only fitting we go to Him before we exercise. Incorporating prayer prior to, during, and after our workouts is a way to worship Him. If you don’t already pray before you workout, I hope this short prayer helps you to get to know God as your most powerful fuel and uplifting workout partner.

Take a deep belly breath before you begin.


Lord, as I prepare to exercise, I come to you first. You have given me life and the ability to move. Therefore, I will honor you with my mind and body. In this workout, I will not be overcome by my challenges. I will not focus on discouragement or fatigue. I am present in this moment. Center my thoughts on your strength. I invite your Holy Spirit to dwell within me. I breathe you in. Be my guide and my energy. Cushion my strides. Power my repetitions with intensity. Give me the guts to move with intention and complete more than I believe I’m capable. In you, all things are possible for me.

To God be the glory. Amen.


 

Stay tuned for more pre, during, and post-workout prayers. 🙂