Today was Day 1 of my home workout plan to get back into shape. The great and unexpected thing about today is that when I shared with my wife that I would be doing this my son, Jacob, jumped up and asked (begged) to work out with me on my first day. He’ll be turning 8 years old in August.
I haven’t worked out seriously since I left the US Army in 2003. Part of why I left the Army was that I hated waking up at 5am to run before the sun came up and my family’s income was at stake if I didn’t. I’ve gotten out of shape since then adding about 65 lbs since leaving the Army. My body is starting to feel it! So, recently, I decided to pull up a reasonable home workout plan and have my family hold me accountable.
We were halfway through our 5-minute warm up lap around the block. I am gasping for air. My shins are tighter than an over-wound clock spring ready to snap, my whole body is screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US!?” I look to my smiling son and I ask him how he’s doing.
“Great, Dad! This speed is perfect.” At that moment, I realized that my son was following my lead. He was going to match my speed no matter what, although at the moment we were barely going slow. My son was with me in my presence and happy. As we rounded the final corner, he said to me, “Dad, I really enjoy that we’re spending time together. Can we do this every day?” While my heart almost burst out of my chest at the thought of jogging every day, I was happy to hear him say that to me.
Over the next hour, we did push ups (from my knees…sad, I know), tricep dips, squats, calf raises, modified chin ups, and bicep curls (without weights). We stayed hydrated, and just cleaned up and had breakfast together. Also, during that hour, we encouraged each other. We praised each other, pushed each other to meet our goals. Jacob asked me about my life in the Army, about my days as a high school football player. Jacob wanted to get to know me. He didn’t ask for any gifts, he didn’t ask for me to change the world. He was simply happy to be with me and get to know his dad better. It didn’t matter to him that if we were in a gym, EVERYONE would be laughing at me. He was with his father.
This, of course, made me think about my relationship with my Father in heaven. Yesterday, Pastor Bil talked about the need to simply make the time EVERY DAY to get to know God in His word and through prayer. In light of my workout with Jacob this morning, I realize that, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15 NIV) To get to know God on a daily basis, we need to look up to Him as a son looks up to his father. We need to be happy just to be with him.
Other Biblical lessons I picked up on today:
- Teach my children in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6) The best teaching for a child is by example. I can tell my son to go outside and play, be more active, but he really won’t until he sees me active rather than always watching TV or playing on the computer. As a father, I have a responsibility to SHOW my children the way they should go.
- Praise your son. (Matthew 3:17) All thoughout our workout, I could see Jacob smile ear-to-ear as he completed a set, I grabbed his hand to lift him up and simply say, “Good job! You did it.” He never faltered through the enter workout.