Last week I shared about my Journey through Change, and the 5 life lessons I have learned through the journey of the season I am in. What season? The season of change!

The post you are about to read, was actually started last week. However, being that CHANGE is a constant in my life right now, God changed things up on me and I ended up with something completely different.

Don’t you just love how God does that? He often calls an audible at the last minute and changes the direction we are going, but He always leads us safely through.

As part of this season of change, a major change came back in February when my husband, John, had the great idea to “try” CrossFit. He mentioned it to me, but was very careful not to ask me or tell me I should join him. – Smart man!

barbell weights

The next day he said he had contacted the gym and was going to go “try” it out.

Out of my mouth came the words “I’ll go with you!”

…..What??? Too late the words came rushing out of my mouth before I could even stop them.

There was a brief second where I could plead insanity, but, I was so in shock, I couldn’t figure out how in the world those words came out of my mouth, much less how to take them back gracefully.

John stared at me……. I know he was trying to figure out how to respond. “Did she really just say that?” the confused look on his face said it all. “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?”

I’m sure he remembers back to the ONE time I actually joined him in karate class, and went running off the floor mid-workout. (Which by the way is a big no-no and a sign of disrespect) I made a bee-line straight for the bathroom, to puke my guts out. Let’s just say, I probably shouldn’t have been in class so soon after surgery and well, I put out a little too much effort in my desire to share a hobby with the hubby.

However, he said none of those things out loud. He just smiled and said, “Ok great, then let’s do this!”

“Uh yeah, let’s do this,” I mumbled in disbelief.

Pssst: Let me let you in on a little secret: Until CrossFit, I hated – absolutely hated exercise! Unless, of course that exercise had anything to do with softball! The one sport that I love! The one sport I excelled in! The one sport that brings me joy and makes me feel good about myself!

Pssst: Pssst: Another little secret – I’m competitive! I hate to lose and if I am not good at something, or I won’t excel, well then, I usually don’t “try” it. That is why I don’t much care for exercise. I’m not good at it.

Yet, off to CrossFit we went to “try” it out. The walk through and introduction wasn’t so bad, so we decide to come back the next day. John went to the O’Dark 30 class, and I went to the mid-morning class. The ladies in my class were all great but way, way, way younger than me – 15 plus years younger than me. In fact, my husband and I are the oldest ones at the gym and could be parents to most of the members and coaches. The ladies in the mid-morning class could do things, I only dreamed of doing in my younger years. Usually, I would have felt awkward, self-conscious, and hated every minute of it, but I didn’t. I kinda liked it and decided I would “try” it again another day. However, I had early meetings the rest of the week so if I wanted to “try” it again, I had to go to the O’Dark 30 class with my husband.

I did and… I liked it!!!!


In fact, I liked it so much, I decided to keep getting up when the sun is still sleeping, spend some time with my husband, while we took care of our bodies – which are the temples of the Holy Spirit after all – (but this is not the post to go into that) – that was 6-months ago, and I am still going. A miracle to say the least.

So why would a middle aged, overweight, exercise self-conscious, sleeping in and staying up late person such as myself thrive and look forward to going to CrossFit early almost every day? Because they encourage me and accept me just as I am. They are impressed that I continue to show up. I am usually the last one to finish with the workout, but that’s ok. I am working out. Plus, there are perks to being the last one. Yep, for me, it’s not getting the fastest WOD (Workout Of The Day) time or the heaviest weight posted. It’s the encouragement and the cheering me on that I get. Yep, that’s right – while everyone else is finished, they turn and cheer me on. Giving me the needed strength to push that bar up one more time, or run that last 200 meters without walking. Sometimes, like today, I was the first one to drop out because I didn’t complete the necessary tasks in time to go to the next round and I got to cheer on those who had the stamina to stay in the longest.


In our society, it’s usually the top dog, the one that finishes first, or posts the fastest times and the best scores that everyone is cheering for. In the Kingdom of God, we are called to cheer for everyone, the top dog and the underdog.

And what about the competitive nature I have? Well, that kicks in too. I am working to better myself with what I did the week or month before. Just yesterday, I added 20 pounds to a workout I did in April, and I did a whole round more than before too.

Don’t worry, they scale the workouts for me so I don’t hurt my middle aged self.  They modify the more advanced movements so that I can safely do them. It’s not about what I can’t do, but about what I can do. It’s not about “I could only do this.” It’s about, “I did this”!!!

build up

I have never felt stronger and more confident than I have in the last 6 months, because I am working out and even made new friends. I am being built up by people that I never would have met otherwise. In some ways, they have become family. We talk about life, laugh, and workout together. They are always cheering me on, encouraging me, and pushing me to become better. Honestly, it’s not just those in the class I attend, it’s all of the people in the gym, the other classes, the coaches – we care for each other and “like” each others workout goals and accomplishments online, even if we only see each other at an occasional gym BBQ or gathering. I love these words from Paul:

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11 )

 The people at the gym have made this verse come alive to me in a way I hadn’t expected. I am an encourager by nature, and you might think my love language was words of affirmation, but it isn’t. I promise. But there is just something that feels good when others recognize your accomplishments especially when you are doing something you might not like to do, or that you are not particularly good at.

Honestly, besides my family, the only other place I’ve experienced something like this is in church. People coming alongside me to cheer me on and encourage me in my success and helping to pick me up in my failures. At our church many comment that church is their family. I hope you have experienced something like this in your church, too.

In Scripture, we are told to encourage one another on this journey called life. We are called to be light and salt wherever we are. We are called to build others up and cheer for those whom God has around us.

Jesus encourages us to be bearers of light and hope for others everyday no matter where we are, and no matter who they are. Even if we are at work, the grocery store, or the gym.

Be light and hope to those around you today.

Besides church, is there a place where you feel a sense of family and encouragement?

Is there a place where you are called to be the catalyst to create an encouraging environment?

The tongue has the power of life and death. Your words matter.

Go create, go encourage, go make a difference.

Deb gym pic     This picture was taken during an intense 20 minute time cap workout.  My lungs were on fire, it was HOT, and my muscles where screaming. I literally wanted to quit and be done – but I finished with only a few seconds to spare, thanks to the encouragement of the entire class.

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