For once, I have no clue what God is up to with a particular message.
Even though I have an inclination to physical fitness, it’s always been more about playing than work. That is, I could never maintain a program unless it appealed to my sense of fun and games. Even in the military, where fitness has a very specific goal, I only did what was fun for me, with some slight attention paid to preparing for the various fitness tests. It worked out okay, because I always kept a score of at least 290 out of 300, but during the actual training, I never gave that much thought.
At the time the Lord made it clear I was to devote all my time to serving as His prophet, He also hit me hard with a requirement to be as fit as possible, and to keep it going. While I hardly argued with that idea, I’m puzzled because there is no particular purpose revealed for it. I’m sure it will become clear when the day of need arrives, but for now it’s just an urge from my spirit with no explanation. There is also no particular urge to practice anything like self-defense, so it’s not about that at all.
Granted, I’m aging and arthritic, so there are limits. I can no longer recover from a hard workout every other day; it takes three now. So I have a three day cycle repeated twice weekly. I have no clue why I feel such a heavy burden about sharing it with you, dear readers, but I must be obedient.
Day One: road march. I never got comfortable with race walking, but no one with military experience forgets the road march. It’s a different motion from race walking, and somewhat less speedy, but a good workout. During the heat of summer I carry two military canteens on a harness, one quart each. I simply cannot run distances any more, and have to wear a knee brace just to walk very far. On my worst bad-knee days, I do two miles, but most of time it’s four. On really good days, I do six. It’s all over the hilly terrain out here where I live.
Day Two: long ride. If I’m traveling and not in a hurry, the steepest hills don’t bother me at all. But for workouts, I need some flatter ground. So I ride north out of the hill-n-dale country to the North Canadian River Valley. It’s a huge flat expanse of rich farmland, and the roads are quiet. The distance is seldom less than twenty miles, usually around 25, and occasionally over 30 miles round trip. I’ve done as much as 35, but the route was simply too hilly for a good workout, and too ugly for any fun. So I usually pick a relatively flat course and ride as hard as I dare the whole way. I carry my 24-oz. water bottle plus a half-gallon jug on the back rack.
Day Three: upper body. I long ago reached the limit of progress on the high-tension workout. For now, I’m hitting a park with playground equipment, which is a four-mile ride from here. I alternate pushing and pulling from the shoulder girdle, different angles, alternating the grip, different amounts of leverage using my own body weight. The pushing exercises always drop my chest below the plane of my hands, for full range of motion. The goal is between 12 and 20 repetitions, adding another set when it gets too easy. The whole point is hardening the joints so injuries are less likely, but not stressing them to the point the arthritis flares up too much.
Then I do some jumping and my elliptic sit-ups before riding painfully back home. An elliptic sit-up is raising the upper body part way, and one leg, knee straight, reaching with one hand to touch the opposite toe. It’s a balancing act, briefly forming a V shape. The body twists at the waist just a bit, so every part of the abdomen gets involved, along with some of the lower back.
There are substitutions to this routine. For example, today is payday, so my long ride will be to a selection of stores, picking up a few items. I have a set of baskets I found at a thrift store which rests neatly on the rear rack.
Given we are facing a measure of tribulation, economic collapse, possible nuclear explosions from Fukushima, and who-knows-what-else, improving fitness is never a bad idea. However, my spirit witnesses this is more than simple convenience. There is something very specific coming for which high fitness is utterly necessary for my service to Christ. Given I have a pension (your federal tax dollars at work!), I have no excuse for slacking off.
All I can suggest for now is the burden to share this serves as a general warning from God: Things are going to become very, very difficult rather soon.