I don’t have a six-pack.
No one has ever referred to my arms as, “those guns.” At least not with a straight face.
Nobody at the gym has ever asked for my opinion on the best chest exercise. Once this lady asked me to get out of her way but that’s about as close as it ever got.
I’m okay with that. I don’t run everyday to look a certain way. I’ve got bigger goals when I exercise.
I run for doughnuts.
I didn’t run at all last week. I didn’t lift one single weight either. Instead, I spent almost every morning eating doughnuts with my wife and kids. Not organic, whole grain doughnuts either. White bread doughnuts. The kind that are filled with Fruit Loops or methamphetamine or whatever it is they put in those things.
It’s good to work out and eat right. God only gave you one body so it’s important to be a good manager of his gift. But being a good manager of the body God has given to you doesn’t mean that you have to be an Organic Pharisee, pronouncing judgments on thyself and all other pagans who partaketh of high fructose corn syrup. Sometimes it means eating a doughnut with your family.
That’s heresy in today’s food culture that’s determined to cure the childhood obesity epidemic, one bowl of organic grapes at a time. But feeding the kids from the Burger King Value Menu every night before bed isn’t the only way to ruin the way that they think about food. Constantly talking about calories or body mass index to your six-year-old will do the trick too.
Years from now my kids will not care about how big my arms were or how fast I ran a 5k. But they haven’t stopped talking about all of the mornings last week that we spent eating doughnuts and listening to old school country music.
So loosen up. Ladies, who cares if you can’t drop those last ten pounds. Men, stop beating yourself up for looking nothing like the guy on the Insanity commercial. We miss the whole point of taking care of ourselves if we think that it’s all just about the way we look. Instead, we should work hard to have bodies that help us to fulfill our responsibilities for the glory of God.
Jason Peters is probably the best offensive lineman in the NFL. He’s 6′ 4″, 328 pounds and a perennial all-pro. For almost ten years some of the best defensive players in the NFL have had a hard time getting by him.
But Jason Peters would make a terrible wide receiver. He’s nearly 100 pounds overweight for that position and too slow. Peters isn’t built to be a wide receiver. He’s built for something else.
Jason Peters is good at what he does because he knows his job and works hard to do it well. Everything from the food that he eats to the weights that he lifts helps him to do his job well.
Most of us aren’t called to be on the cover of magazines, showing off our rock hard abs. If that is you, fine, stay away from the doughnuts. Most of us are called to be able to come home from a hard day of work and still have enough energy to play soccer with the kids or paint the guest bedroom. If we’re healthy enough to do that and bend over 575 times a day to pick up diapers, laundry and cereal, we should be content.
Maybe we would view ourselves differently if, instead of trying weird diets and exercises in an attempt to be someone we’re not, we prepared ourselves to excel at what we’re supposed to do. Sort of like Jason Peters.
Last week my four-year-old asked me a profound question. I could tell that it was weighing heavy on his mind.
“Dad, what is it that you have in the band if you want to play in Texas?”
“A fiddle. You got to have a fiddle in the band.”
He was relieved.
He got that question from listening to old school country music and eating doughnuts with his dad. Creamy, sugary doughnuts.
That’s why I exercise and try to eat right. So that, if God wills, I can be around for many more years to answer my son’s questions.
And I also exercise so that every now and then I can eat a doughnut with my sons and talk about whatever is troubling them.
Exercise is really good for you.
Every so often, a doughnut is too.