Everyone Needs a Catalyst

“Dad, would you want to do a Bootcamp with me?” Nearly two years ago Tommie told me what she was thinking. I said, “Yes let’s do it.”

We worked hard. Ben led the Bootcamp in drill sergeant fashion. After six weeks I had dropped more than eleven pounds. Had I not had another obligation I would have won the $200 prize for First Place. You had to be present to win. My emcee duties at the Little Miss Tuttle Pageant paid bigger dividends, if not in cash.

Getting Started Is Half the Battle

A few months later we were joined by Kimberly. When you get older and your children have children, it is often hard to find things that fit the schedule that you can do together on a regular basis. What do we do? Sweat it out! Early.

Many days when the alarm clock hits 4:30 a.m. we would as soon hit snooze and go back to sleep. I would think to myself, “Kimberly is going to pull up in the drive soon. I better get up.” Kimberly would think, “Daddy will be sitting in the drive waiting. I better get up.” Tommie would meet us and we would both think, “What will Tommie think if we don’t show up?” After all, she got this thing started.

I should be clear about something. Before two knee scopes and my surgeon’s advice, I would have no trouble getting up to play basketball that early in the morning. Working out, not so much.

Over the years there were a couple of seasons where I did work out regularly. First there was Steve. We met in the mid 1990’s and he took one look and said, “Boy you need to work out!” His exclamation was not to a matter of weight. Instead he insisted I needed to improve my shoulders.

Steve had recently moved to our area. He needed a workout partner. I was his candidate. We made an exchange. You read the Gospels and I will come work out. It worked for both of us. A year or two later and Steve made a commitment to follow Jesus. A year or two later, Steve decided I was looking better. Win! Over time our schedules got in the way and our workouts faded into a memory. Who knows what he thought about my shoulders.

Then there was Lyle. Maybe 12 years ago we began working out together. Jason, I think, was the catalyst on this go round. Sometimes there were a few of us. Time had passed since my workout days with Steve. We worked out at CB’s place. After Lyle died, I tried to go work out. It just wasn’t the same. For 8 of the past ten years it was just basketball.

That was when Tommie said, “Dad, you want to do a Bootcamp with me?”

Staying After It

When Tommie said the Bootcamp was for six weeks, I figured once it was over that would be that. I could mark that off with the t-shirt motto, “Been there. Done that.” Getting in better shape felt good. I had more energy. And, I got to hang out with my girls. Patty joined us for a while. Her Fibromyalgia restricts what she can do and for how long.

The rest of us did not have any excuse. Tommie found out she was pregnant shortly after Kimberly joined us. The point came where she could not work out. But, she kept encouraging. And, she kept promising that she would be back when she was able. Her reminder was, “Look out.” We are just a little competitive.

We were down to two. Me and Kimberly.

Last Friday marked the end of another 8-week FitCamp. After that initial 6- week Bootcamp, Beth and Jennifer began hosting FitCamps every 8 weeks. June 25 will mark 2 years. We don’t just workout three times a week. We talk about nutrition, what we eat. When you learn how many burpees it takes to make up for one chocolate chip cookie, you think twice every time you reach for one.

We learn not to just stay after exercise, but to keep up with healthy eating. Beth and Jennifer’s mantra is, “It’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.” They can’t be too far off. Most of us who work out do so in order to indulge more. That really does not accomplish the end goal.

There are few things that meet with success after just a short time. I have always like Eugene Peterson’s book title, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. If this describe what faithfulness to a way of life, it surely can be applied to our health.

Winning Isn’t Everything, But . . .  It Helps Every Now and Then

Healthy living is its own reward. Recently my Dad had a heart scare – four stents in three arteries. I gained a different appreciation for Tommie asking, “Dad, do you want to do a Bootcamp with me.”

My Dad has hardly been inactive. There are no memories of Dad just sitting around. He wrestled for OU in college. He coached us in little league baseball, beating my friends around the bases as we got older and confident. Once when I thought I was ready to take my Dad in a wrestling match, it was over before I knew it. He even ran the floor with us when we played pick up basketball in high school. We have roofed houses, repaired cars and trucks, plumbed,  and done any number of things in extreme temperatures.

Dad gave blood at the Oklahoma Blood Institute for at least 40 years. Time gets us all. Dad will be 77 in October. When you have heart disease in your family history arterial blockages may come no matter what you do to stay active. But, his example of always doing something helps. His recent trip to the hospital inspires me for the next FitCamp.

We began our new 8-week challenge this morning. Each new session is marked by awards given to those who recorded winning numbers in a variety of categories. Today, Kimberly won First Place in the Women’s group. There have been times where she just knew she won and didn’t. Those can be discouraging moments. There was no discouragement today.

In fact, we both won First Place in our respective division. Now that is quite fun.

Winning is not everything, but now and again it does provide that inspiration and motivation to keep at it.

We are both on alert. Tommie returned to working out this morning. Everyone needs a catalyst and Tommie has been ours.

Could You Be a Catalyst?

There are any number of scenarios in life where people need a catalyzing influence. How could you find your way to help those around you improve their lives? Remember you can . . .

  1. Help someone get started.
  2. Encourage them to stay with it.
  3. Celebrate their successes with them.

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About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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