It's Not Just About You Anymore
A few months before I got married, I joined a gym. Everyone asked the question, “Are you trying to look good in your wedding pictures?” It is a scene from any number of romantic comedies. Guy gets engaged and suddenly hits the gym. Are we really that shallow?
I don’t think we are. I think that, for guys, it is about something much deeper. I think it comes with the realization that people depend on us now, and we need to be prepared for the long haul. We’ve got this one body, and this one chance to maintain the Temple of our Bodies. If we don’t eat right and exercise, it costs our family money. In the long run, maybe even years of life.
All men have three basic desires: to have a job, to have a family, and to have a home. Those desires are almost universal. They are also not easy. Once you have a job, you have to keep it. Once you have a family, you have to tend the relationships. Once you have a home, you have to maintain it. If those were the only three jobs we had as Catholic husbands, that would be plenty to keep us busy.
While accomplishing those three tasks, (which are not easy, by the way) we then must defend our family from external threats. We must protect our wives from those lesser people who would prey on them. We must defend our children from predators and from those in our society who would not teach them truth. In order to do this, we have to give ourselves the best possible shape. We must be in the best possible shape.
Getting in shape doesn’t mean being ripped like Mr. Universe. In fact, even 180 minutes of exercise (30 minutes a day, six days a week) can cause your energy levels to spike to levels you thought previously impossible. When I started exercising, I was able to accomplish tasks I never thought I’d ever be able to do. Your body rewards you for treating it well.
When it comes to exercise, and prayer for that matter, both require discipline. Taking that first step can be the most challenging. Come back tomorrow when I explain that these two activities are not luxuries, they’re essential!
To close with the wit and humor of Pope John XXIII, “They say that the body is a temple. Mine is a Major Basilica!”