Bodypump & the Body of Christ

I love Bodypump.

But January is a tough month to love my gym. All these newly-inspired resolution-making types show up to give Bodypump a try.

They bang into me as they set up their bench top and risers. They encroach on my space. They don’t know proper weight selection.

It makes me cranky. Can you tell?

Saturday morning was outrageous. The previous class, Bodystep, dismissed late, so a huge herd of Body-Pumpers was waiting to be let in. We gathered around the door like people waiting for the midnight buffet on a cruise line. As soon as the door opened, people started grabbing spots and equipment. The gym floor was already slick with sweat. All was mass confusion. In a few moments, every single bench top, weight bar, and weight was in use. The floor was so crowded I barely had enough room to step back into a proper lunge.

I didn’t get out of bed early on a Saturday to get elbowed out of my workout, let me tell you what. I claimed my space.

In a few moments the warm-up track began to pound out a rhythm (“Saturday” by Swedish dance-pop band Basshunter, if you click please ignore the visuals).

As soon as the music began and the blood pumped into my muscles, my feel-good endorphins started to flow. My attitude toward my fellow Pumpers shifted. Weren’t we all to be commended for getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning to pump together? Wasn’t this wonderful?

This shift in mood and focus immediately reminded me of church (maybe because everything reminds me of church).

As we moved into the squat track, I thought about the old folk in my congregations who have resisted change. I don’t mean old folk in terms of age — I mean the people who have been doing church a while. These are the people who know how to do church right: when to show up, where to park, and how to do the moves.

Some of those old folk have resisted the new folk who come in and take their spot in the parking lot or pew, or bring along changes to the music or the fellowship hour schedule.

Suddenly I understood. The old folk don’t resist because they hate Jesus or the church, but quite the opposite. What they have is so precious to them that they don’t want anybody messing with it.

Yep, I bet you’ve thought of this before. So have I. But it took some feel-good endorphins for me to really get it, not just with my mind but my body.

We zealously guard the things that matter to us. It takes an attitude shift — which can be cultivated intentionally — to welcome others to share this precious thing. It also takes having enough equipment and floorspace.

My gym has taught me a lot about church, actually. Here are a few posts on the subject:

What the Gym Teaches Me About Church

Learning to Welcome

Exercising the Kingdom

About Ruth Everhart

I'm a writer and a pastor. My book "Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land" was published by Eerdmans a year ago. I recently self-published a short book about my family's adventure of riding mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I'm working on a memoir (isn't every writer?). I believe life is full of adventure, most of it internal.
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