Spiritual Training Cycle: Unity (wk. 3/13)
We are in week three of a nine-week strength training cycle in our gym. The focus of the cycle is tempo. In other words, we are slowing things down and creating what we like to call, “time under tension.” This is a critical concept in the development of fitness because positive tension results in positive outcomes. As we increase the time we remain in positive tension, the greater the likelihood for a positive outcome. But tempo training varies from our normal strength cycles in that we don’t use percentages. The reason is that not everyone responds to tension the same way. Especially when we slow it down. Sometimes athletes are feeling great and can go a little harder. Other days, they may be having an off day. Instead, we use words like light, moderate, and heavy. The athletes use these words along with the other critical component of their training – gut feeling.
Gut feeling. I’ll be honest, when you’re new to CrossFit or strength training, you don’t have much of a gut feeling. You just don’t know what you don’t know. Great coaches help athletes learn to develop a gut feeling. For example, if I have an athlete with an endurance background and little barbell experience, their gut feeling to go heavy probably feels like shear terror. I’ll work with that athlete slowly exposing them to a slightly heavier stimulus over time so they can build the confidence necessary to achieve heavier lifts. For my experienced athletes, they might grab a barbell off the rack and just the weight of the bar alone feels like 100 pounds. Their gut is telling them to back it off that day, and their gut is probably right. You can’t make fitness a mathematic formula. You must learn to use your gut feeling.
But we all know sometimes our gut feelings are wrong. Because feelings can be wrong. Have you ever gotten a text message from someone that said, “we need to talk.” What did your gut tell you? That you were in trouble? That they were upset with you? That you forgot to put the toilet seat down? Well, that last one may be right. But nine times out of ten that feeling is wrong. The person wasn’t mad at you, they just had an idea or something they didn’t want to forget to tell you. Gut feelings can be helpful, but they are far from foolproof.
Gut feelings can be helpful, but they are far from foolproof.
There’s another guide though that proves far superior to gut feelings – the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just use our feelings, He reshapes them. The process starts when you make an active decision to put your faith in Jesus and trust Him with your life. When this happens, the Bible says we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us new direction. Instead of being focused on ourselves or our feelings or just us in general, we start to see the world in a new way. We start to see it God’s way. And just like a good tempo strength training cycle, the Holy Spirit creates positive tension in our lives. Tension is proof we are in process. As you grow in your spiritual fitness, the Holy Spirit teaches you to become more aware of your selfish feelings and you get better at surrendering to God. Over time, going with your gut really means going with God. And that’s a gut feeling you’ll never regret.
Questions for Reflection:
Do you think the Holy Spirit influences the decisions you make? Share an example.
How does being selfish make you feel and why?