Why do you do whatever it is you do?
I’ve been thinking about that lately. The world stopped for a precious minute and we’ve all had time to ask ourselves for the first time in the history of probably ever why we do what we do without the eyes of the outside world expecting much. We have had a literal minute of silence followed by a horrific noise leaving us all speechless, and Silence again.
So, no one is paying attention but everyone is watching. What matters to you? What do you actually care about? The world was stopped and now its inflamed. Everyone is speechless with their mouths hanging open and I ask myself why and what next.
I love transformation. I seek out people who want transformation. My life has been a process of slow transformation, and transformation is the kind of work I do with my life. While I make my living in the physical transformation of bodies, I get to be a part of the spiritual, mental, and emotional transformation that is all part of a divided whole.
This picture feels like what we so desperately want. This little girl, arms open wide, shamelessly joining in what she hopes to be good, and where she hopes to be included. It may just be the warm up to a workout, but she’s all in. She knows getting it perfect doesn’t matter, she’s already loved. She has no shame in her. She’ll do as much as she wants, stop when she wants, and take her shoes off at inappropriate times. Those of us surrounding her are riddled with obligation, addiction, and bear the consequences of living past her age, but are quietly, desperately trying to get back to her.
While my job is training and helping run a gym and nonprofit ministry, what is it really that I want to do? Strip down the logo and expose the foundation and what is it that drives me to keep trying?… It took me more than a minute of thinking and staring out of windows serenely, but now I know, when it’s all shut down or burned up, my heart wants this:
To be a witness to transformation. To invite strong women who have let life teach them to be small to embrace the bigness of their soul and to feel the even biggerness of God’s grace as they break things on the way.
And to watch the boarders of privilege blend with poverty. In the same room…Rich with poor, Weak with strong, sober with addicts…all the colors. To see the pious and the social outcast share life. To live out stories that ground us to our knees in empathy for the load every one of us is carrying.
You see?…Its never just a job or a place…or a gym. It’s where we meet together to accomplish a thing. Where we sweat and struggle and lean into what is hard on purpose. Its where getting to the goal demands getting rid of old habits, fears, and the weight of self-protection. All in. Everyone exposed.
I love transformations. It’s part of what makes me love training the body. I love that moment we wake up to recognize that we have strayed far from the little girl who didn’t hide, and didn’t worry, and didn’t try to control.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of jail battling a 20 year drug addiction, or a soccer mom faking your happiness worrying about what happens to your marriage when the kids leave home. It doesn’t matter if you are black, brown, or white. A holy thing happens when you start to pay attention…and then you decide…and then you move. Transformation.
It’s really brave, really messy, sometimes inconsistent, and there’s no limit of bartering, begging, or re starting. It’s all transformation. It starts sometimes from your hatred for what evil or neglect or sabotage has happened to you…or the apathy you have allowed to happen. And it tenaciously grows out of what is most hoped for, and the peace you long desperately to recover…and it’s all holy.
It’s a decision point. A pain point. The time you try again, or the time you decide NEVER AGAIN. It wakes you up from numbness to see God, wrestles to break free, sits with failure, and reaches for salvation.
It’s in the hard labor of breaking a sweat, the fear of not knowing what sober, or thin, or strong, or equality even look like. It’s fragile and yet it’s terribly strong.
Its why I do what I do, and no matter what I do, I look for its likeness. And as long as I do things, I hope they are things that hold space for what is transformational. Arms open wide, shamelessly joining in, already loved.
Right now. You as an individual may be at a pain point or a decision point. The world has stopped a moment to get your attention. What is it you really want? A good body?…Peace on earth?… all good things. All things that need you to seize a moment and decide what happens next. You get to be this girl in the picture, unafraid to say what is true but grounded into a deeper truth of her absolute rightness in taking her place on the floor.
What will you do with a world that is sick and burning or a body that is weak and dying? You can go numb…or you can begin to move. It’s my favorite thing…that moment of decision. It’s the moment where you see your life as a thing that can change. You have a body, a mind, and a heart that can transform. You are a business, a city, and a culture that can decide. Arms open wide, shamelessly joining in, already loved.