I wanted to share my unique postpartum fitness journey with you all that started when I got on a rowing machine at the gym in March of 2021. I will share the long version in another post but the short version is …
In the space of 12 months, I qualified for the World Championships, representing my country, making the final and placing top 10 in the World.
On the 22nd of June 2021, I made a commitment to start training, and I set an ambitious goal of representing my country and competing at Worlds. It was definitely ambitious, given I knew nothing about the sport, and I am not exactly an athlete. I am more like a full-time Mother trying to get fit after gaining 30kilos during my pregnancy. My husband Almond encouraged me to give it a go, and so he became my coach/trainer in the gym because a) he is the fittest and strongest person I know and b) to save money!
I do believe God revealed throughout this training process, that it has been a real correlation between my faith and fitness journey.
There were some days:
- when I did not want to train and needed to remember the purpose of the gym has long term benefits. It is the same with my faith, some days I do not want to be at Church, but I need to remember iron sharpens iron and being in the house of the Lord has eternal benefits.
- when I felt amazing at training, and there are some days you question you’re why? It is like my faith; there are some days I feel strong in the Lord, and some days I question him why am I struggling?
- when I have cried simply because it has been exhausting to train and it is the same with my faith some days I do an ugly cry out to God because my cup is empty.
- when I have been distracted at the gym and comparing myself to others of not looking like this, that or the other? It is the same with my faith some days, I get so caught up with things in life when God says do not worry about anything and pray about everything.
- when I have not demonstrated the fruit of the spirit during training to myself or Almond and some days I have seen the fruit of my labour with training. For example,12 months ago, I could barely do 1 pull up and now I can do 5 in a row which has taken 52 weeks of showing up to the gym. (It is similar to when I reflect on my journals with Jesus)
- when you feel disheartened by people watching you train in the gym. God always places people who encourage you along the way and sometimes you encourage others without even knowing it at the time. There are people who do not know Jesus will watch you closely with how you manage because our faith in Jesus is our point of difference in this life.
- when I have nothing left to give in a set or do another rep, which feels like I am going to pass out but I do manage to find something even if it’s just an attempt. I can always learn from failure
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
( God’s faithfulness in a simple verse yet so effective)
When I was training, I always prayed because I needed Jesus to give me the supernatural strength to persevere. I have needed him to stay motivated and encourage me to keep trying my best because I know he will do the rest which is the same with my faith too.
I am thankful to God that i am in good health to be able to do what I can do. Also, I believe this journey has truly opened my eyes to what is really important in my life and not get sidetracked. I am thankful that this journey has allowed me the opportunity to remember my identity is in Christ alone! I also had one of my dearest friends let’s call her Tremendous* constantly reminding me throughout this journey that I am loved as I am. And i am not defined by the number on my scales or what I look like or how I perform in a race. It really is only a speck in the big scheme of things of what is truly important. I think it is an important lesson at any age and something I continually learn to manage in my life.
The most important lesson has been to continually show up and not give up on my fitness or my faith journey. It is so tough because it requires discipline and sacrifice, which is often really uncomfortable, but it produces growth physically and spiritually.
I think the best lesson of all is knowing God is my absolute comfort in both my fitness and faith journey!
Love G x