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How Kickboxing Influenced My Spiritual Life

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I DISCOVERED a new delight. Kickboxing. It’s been around for a while but I only took my first class this past spring. Now I’m hooked.

More important, I’ve learned great lessons I never expected.

 

Engage
If I keep my abdominal muscles really tight during the entire class, the next day my oblique muscles let me know they were affected.
Some people might do this naturally, but for me, it takes a lot of concentration to focus on one muscle group for 45 minutes while trying to coordinate my arms and legs going in different direction.

GO deep. Concentrate hard on what God is trying to show me.
Take Him seriously.

 

Focus
JAB. CROSS. HOOK. UPPERCUT. Doing one of these repeatedly is easy: jab, jab, jab, jab, etc. Alternating two repeatedly is fine: jab-cross, jab-cross, jab-cross. But when the instructor makes us do all four in rapid succession, my arms start flailing as if I have no control over them at all. After a month of classes, I finally realized my problem. I was letting my gaze wander.

NOT THAT I was spying on my classmates, but my eyes would shift toward a different station that was doing different moves. I finally had to close my eyes to distractions and concentrate. Right lead jab-cross-hook-uppercut. Then, and only then, could I do it correctly.

Phone calls. Facebook. Paying bills. Email. All of these and more can distract me when I enter the secret place with my Father. The Lover of my soul is giving me His full attention, and I’m thinking about the email I just read. That’s like trying to converse with someone while they’re texting someone. 

Put it all away and tune in with my heart, mind, and strength

 

Endurance     (Endure = to harden, or make lasting)

I WAS SURPRISED by the intensity of kickboxing. During my first class, the deceptively slow pace had me fooled. The intensity grew gradually, and by the end I’d worked up a sweat and discovered muscles I’d forgotten about. Of course this is all dependent upon how much effort the student puts into the workout. I figure since I’m paying for club membership, I’m only cheating myself by not milking every iota of goodness out of every session.

OUR INSTANT society snubs the ideas of persevering and commitment. But St. Paul says, “Run the race to win.” Seriously, is there any other true and right way to run the race of a spirit-filled life?

Whatever it takes, just do it.

 

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The Way of the Embattled Spirit

 

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