Resisting Sedentary Seminary

by on June 25, 2008

Remember the “Freshman Fifteen”? What about the “Seminary Several”? Perhaps you escaped the undergrad weight gain only to find that now seminary hits you with the one-two punch of entering your *ahem* shall we say, less than prime years, coupled with devoting an inordinate amount of time to sitting, studying, and consuming large quantities of coffee and Snickers bars. Jeff and I thankfully haven’t added the Seminary Several, but we have discovered that Seminary equals Sedentary, and after a life of sports and activity, these past three years of seminary have taken their toll on our fitness to say the least. So, this past month Jeff and I took a weeklong summer intensive course. Even though I committed to staying alert, focused, and purposeful in gleaning as much as I could from class, by 11am on the first day I was drowsy and guiltily clicking through Facebook to keep myself alert. By the time lunch rolled around I was ready to ditch my healthy brown bag in favor of French fries and a Caramel Macchiato.

The Lunch Run

But (!) I was fiercely determined that I was going to take the opportunity to get some exercise during this summer class. So, I decided that during the lunch hour each day I would go running. Fortunately the weather cooperated, and I had just enough time to go to the gym, change into shorts, run for thirty minutes, then splash some ice cold water under my arms, and get back to class a little red in the face but energized beyond what any Starbucks would ever be capable of achieving.

I was amazed at the results. I found it so much easier to focus during the afternoons (and I’m a morning person so I can’t blame it on that!). I found myself energized, positive, enthusiastic, and feeling motivated to eat my healthy lunch rather than ditch it in favor of the McLunch I would later regret. On the last day of class it started to rain, and since I’m a wimp, I forewent a run in the drizzle, and instead chose to explore the weight room of our campus’s gym. I was amazed! While not the most state-of-the-art fitness center, they had great equipment and free weights. And I practically had the place to myself. I realized that I’d been through three years of seminary without ever taking advantage of the free fitness facilities (Perhaps free is not the word considering the size of our school loans). How many days did I shuffle through my classes, unable to keep myself alert without shocking doses of caffeine, when I could have been taking time to exercise my body, relax my mind, and recharge for the studies ahead?!

Read, Ride, and Run

So it made me think, I want to tell Seminarians to take advantage of the free (“included with tuition”) fitness facilities available to us as students. Play “Noon Ball”, go for a quick run or walk, lift a few weights, sit on the recumbent bike while reading that theology textbook. Don’t neglect to exercise the body God’s given you in your quest for exercising your mind. Both are important in our service for Christ. And you might just be surprised how much easier it is to focus on Greek after running around the block for Jesus. Don’t let Sedentary Seminary lull to sleep. Instead, stay one step ahead of the Seminary Several.

Comments

WOW! Your seminary has a gym… NICE!

Sadly, that is not part of our campus community and I am very guilty of being sedentary (aka – lazy). I recently decided to take the 100 push up challenge, which is the most exercise I’ve done in months.

I have a 1 week intensive coming up in about 3 weeks, so I’m going to think about how I can incorporate some of your ideas into my week. I think you have a good point in that doing some exercise might be better than my cup-a-joe to keep me awake. Only problem is that a walk or run on a Florida afternoon would either result in being soaked in sweat or rain…

I have to walk through the gym at Asbury to get to my office and I am always surprised that there are hardly EVER people in there. Usually only around 2.

I actually have gotten in better shape since moving here because Wilmore is a walking town, so when I go to get lunch with friends we always walk. The schedule that some of us keep really requires us to either use legal substances to stay awake, or learn to keep our energy up naturally.

Does anyone else’s seminary have a fitness coordinator on staff?

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We have a really nice facility at Southern. However, I find that making time for that is next to impossible! I am attempting to control the battle of the bulge through diet and drinking more water. Fortunately, working at a golf course is extremely helpful to win this battle.

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I am getting ready to go to Southern. My problem will be finding a group of gents who share a passion for powerlifting. I have been doing so now for nearly two years and it has been one of the best workout routines I have ever had. I know Southern has a gym on campus, does anyone know if it has free weights, a squat rack, barbell and enough weight to squat 700lbs?