When we are constantly racing towards a destination, what happens to the moments we are living right now? Fast does not always mean better, many times we are in such a hurry we fail to do the necessary work it takes to build a strong base. In life details matter.
What is one of the least expensive, easily portable pieces of fitness equipment available worldwide that you can own? A Jump Rope!
It is often overlooked. Most people think of using a machine when they think of warming up before getting their workout on. They jump on the treadmill for a mile, or hop on a stationary bike for ten minutes.
I prefer the jump rope. Nothing gets your blood flowing like some rope work.
The benefits may surprise you. They include engaging your upper and lower body, cardiovascular health, increased lung power, core and bone strength, lung power, speed, agility, coordination, cognitive ability and endurance.
The wear and tear on your body is minimal with a jump rope, and you can modify your jump to make it even less so. Skipping rope is not as hard on your joints as jogging is, and it can be done indoors and on softer surfaces to help reduce the impact on your joints.
Jumping rope is hard at first, so if you are one of those people who do not like doing activities that you do not excel at immediately or look great doing, then this is not for you.
At K-FIT we have a Rock Steady Boxer named Bob. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 20 years ago. He joined our Rock Steady Boxing program to fight back against the disease over a year ago, right after we first opened the gym.
Bob came in on a walker. He watched as the other fighters all jumped rope to warm up at the beginning of class. Instead, we warmed Bob up with weights, or a ball or some other piece of equipment instead. Then one day Bob said it was his goal to jump rope.
He ditched his walker, and stood shakily on his feet on the gym mats. The first day he did this, he struggled to swing the rope from behind his body to the front. With practice, Bob managed to coordinate the swing. Then one day he was able to step over the rope after swinging it, without tripping, and the whole class erupted in celebration. Eventually, Bob, who was more determined than anyone I’ve ever seen, hopped over the rope. We all went wild. Then it was 5 hops in five minutes. Then 8 hops the next class.
Sure, he still got the rope caught, or tripped. Sometimes he fell. He had days that weren’t always moving forward, but that did not deter him from keeping on. Each class during the warm-up we counted his hops and we cheered him on.
Bob would wear himself out jumping rope at the beginning of class, and then he spent the rest of the class boxing from a seated position. But he was determined to reach his goal. The day came when Bob was able to jump rope thirty-eight times in five minutes, and many of these were consecutive hops.
If Bob can do it, you can too.
Were you aware that jumping rope may help with bone density and the fight against osteoporosis? When you compare it to jogging and other forms of cardiovascular forms of exercise, the jump rope stands above because it engages the entire body.
Jumping rope is whole body synchronization, something that is not possible with a machine. Learning to breathe, relax and jump is tough. It takes time, but without a doubt it has major benefits.
So yes it is hard, but never impossible.
Get a rope and start skipping yourself to a better you.
We are all guilty of telling our friends and family about the things we hope to do one day, and then doing nothing towards achieving those goals.
Inaction costs us our desires. Think about the inventions, art, music, literature and financial gains that are lost because we never take the necessary steps.
Could it be that we are all lazy? Or do we just derive enough pleasure from picturing our perfect scenario without having to do any of the work it will take to get there?
The problem with this is that one day we will begin to have feelings of regret and disappointment.
I see it all the time in the gym. People come in to get into shape. They know they need to do something and yet they just cannot persevere or push through mental/physical obstacles. Sometimes they blame it on “not having time,” which simply means it is not a priority. We all have time for the things that matter to us.
Then, a year passes, and inevitably they are worse off.
I have seen it in Jiu Jitsu so many times. People come in and want to learn, but they just are not willing to put the time into learning. I can tell you this observation I have made. Those that have become black belts in Jiu Jitsu that I have trained with are not the loud, weight-lifting braggart types. They are those that showed up day after day and put in the work and the time to learn.
I also observed it in my writing career. People often talked about their projects, took classes, seminars and did everything they could, except actually putting pen to paper day after day.
The problem comes from the inside. Each of us must ask ourselves if we are content maintaining our current life without making any changes. If the answer is no, then we must make changes.
Dreams, goals and destinations will never happen without first taking solid steps that will build the momentum to reach them. Each of us holds the power to change, no matter what our situation is at this moment. We cannot blame anyone else for our failure to accomplish our goals. The decision is up to us, we alone must take action.
Someone asked me the other day at the gym if I have changed the way I eat over time. I thought about it for a moment and then said to him, yes, I have. At different points in my life the knowledge I had at the time led me to believe that what I was consuming was the best for my body. As I learned more about my body and my diet, I adjusted and my diet changed.
That same idea applies to life. When we gain insight we respond with change. Before I was a Christian I chose to live my life in a hedonistic way. Once I became a Christian, I began to change. Instead of living for myself, I had surrendered my life to God. This brought about change in some profound and meaningful ways.
Now, my life is about doing what God created me to do, and has called me to do. I am determined to no longer be distracted by all the small things that really mean nothing in the scheme of eternity.
There are many things I wish I could do. I miss prospecting for gold in the desert. I would love to go train with UFC fighters in their fight camps. My life right now does not allow these things, and the reality is I do not need to do them. What I do need to do is take care of the body God has given me so that he can use me.
Living a healthy life is one of the ways I keep on the right track. If I am healthy, strong and full of energy it is much easier to make an impact on others. I have come to understand that everything I put into my body has an effect on the way I feel. It comes down to this for me: how bad is it really for my body? What will I miss if I give it up? Is it worth it?
Life is not about what we have or where we are. My location will not change my problems, or me, because I am the same person whether I am here or there.
We all have things we want to do, but putting our priorities above the things we are called to do could take us away from the path God has called us to. If our bodies break down because we don’t take care of them, we will spend our time being sick instead of useful.
Becoming an expert in anything is never quite as simple as taking a weekend course to get certified by an organization. The journey for knowledge is never-ending. Many people expect to go to school, take a class or two and become a master at something. In reality, a true master never stops their quest for knowledge.
With martial arts, in particular, I’ve learned that when you teach others you quickly realize how much you still do not know. You realize what faults you have, and if you take the right steps to remedy your faults, it helps you grow.
No matter what you do well, there is always someone who does it better. If we become so conceited that we believe our own hype, we will never continue to grow.
Even if you receive the highest award in your field, you cannot relax and quit working on your craft. If you do not consistently grow, you will soon be outdated.
There is a documentary I have watched a few times called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It is about a man who found something he loves to do, make sushi, and he works tirelessly to perfect it. He is never content and is constantly looking for ways to make better sushi. That is why his small restaurant is rated the best sushi restaurant in the world.
In life, we must constantly keep learning in order to stay relevant. If we want to stand out in any endeavor we must keep learning and it must be quality knowledge that we gain.
We must change our mindset. Instead of doing something to win, we instead will choose to do something to gain knowledge and grow. It can be humbling to work at things we are not good at, but in the end, it is a valuable lesson. To grow, we must let go of our fear of failure, humble ourselves and often it means forgetting about what the rest of the pack is doing.
I encourage you to pick something you are not good at, and start learning, growing and developing new skills. Each of us has at our fingertips a vast amount of knowledge, why not use it?
When it comes to our faith, the same thing is true. We can never just sit back or coast on our faith. We must constantly strive toward growth. As a Christian, it is up to me to put in the work to continuously grow and become more like Jesus. None of us is without faults. I need to realize what my faults are, and work on them.
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Success comes with being consistent. It does not matter what you wish to accomplish in life, the key to achievement is working on it day after day.
I am not talking about some self help, new age mastery technique. I am talking about backing up your dreams with action.
Pablo Picasso wrote “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
John Steinbeck wrote “Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”
Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers writes that greatness requires enormous time. In fact, he recommends investing 20 hours every week for ten years in order to achieve success, and he calls it the 10,000 hour rule.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
A great start on the road to reaching our goals is just showing up. I think that first step is hardest sometimes. It could be putting words to paper, sketching on a pad, showing up to the gym, opening a book or even making a good food choice. No matter what we wish to accomplish, we must start somewhere or it’s nothing more than wishful thinking.
Most people fail to begin. Once you begin, you are on your way to success. This is where it becomes so important to be consistent. You must put in the work each day in order to progress.
Find something that stimulates you deep down. A dream you want to accomplish, and commit to it. Start working today. It will get tough, life will come up, temptations, distractions… you may ask yourself if it is worth it or if you will ever see results…. It is so important to just keep doing it.
It is only through proper repetition that we become a master at anything. Becoming a better version of ourselves takes work.
I have taken many trips in my life but none have affected me as much as my recent trip to Israel. During my ten day pilgrimage to the Holy Land I packed in a lot of sites.
I have visited other Holy sites around Europe in the past, including the Vatican, but they never made me think of anything beyond the beauty of the craftsmanship. Israel is a different place entirely. It is the living history of our Living God.
It is a land dripping in history and bloodshed. It has been conquered and reconquered for many centuries. The land is not rich in terms of resources. They have to irrigate the land and desalinate the soil to make it fertile. It varies greatly around the region, but overall it is very rocky with little water. One plant seems to thrive there naturally, and that is the Olive tree. Olive trees grow all over. The olive is a hearty tree that lives for many centuries, so if you plant them today your great-great grandchildren can enjoy their fruit.
The modern State of Israel has turned a once barren land into rich fields of crops. They have planted countless trees and made many improvements, despite being surrounded by enemies on all sides.
“Israel cannot bring you to God, but experiencing Israel can bring you closer to God.”
I heard these words shortly after landing in Israel. This phrase went through my head a number of times as I explored the country.
People travel to Israel for many reasons. My main reason for the trip was my love of the history. I wanted to walk where Jesus and the disciples walked. I wanted to see the land they knew, worked and loved.
I saw first hand the small desert village where a child, fully man and fully God, was born. He would go on to impact people’s lives around the world for over two thousand years.
I could feel the tug of history when I visited Caesarea and its great theatre. I knew Paul had been on trial and yet here I was sitting in the same arena where it took place. It was there that the Pilate Stone was discovered by archaeologists. The stone was a dedication stone from Pontius Pilate to the emperor Tiberius.
Capernaum is a small fishing village on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It is written about in all four of the Gospels and it is at the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus taught. The house of the disciple Peter is located a couple of blocks from the synagogue. When you walk the streets of Capernaum you can begin to appreciate what the early Christians went through.
Traveling the country by bus is easy with modern highways and roads. A trip from the shores of Galilee to Caesarea Philippi takes under two hours. Jesus and his disciples walked it, and it took weeks!
The Dead Sea looks amazing when you first set eyes upon it. It is only when you wade in and feel the water that you fully realize why it is called the Dead Sea. The high saline content of the water feels more like a syrup. You cannot sink and there is absolutely no life in it.
I was highly anticipating my trip to the old city of Jerusalem and when I first saw it up on the hill it took my breath away. It was when I arrived at the Western Wall of the first temple that I felt my trip was complete. It was a huge victory for me, not because it is a holier place than any other place, but because of my former life. I had only ever expected to see the wall in pictures.
I saw people crying all along the wall. I saw others who were clearly praying and had been for hours. In other places on my pilgrimage I saw worshipers falling on their knees crying, brought to tears by the act of touching a rock Jesus may have touched.
The best sign I saw was inside the Garden Tomb, which was most likely the Tomb of Jesus. It reads “He is not here, for He is risen” That pretty much sums it up if you are a Christian. There is no place, no rock, no statue, no clothing and no ritual that will bring you closer to God.
God is accessible whether you make it to Israel or not. He wants to have a personal relationship with you regardless of your location, background or station in life. If you do get a chance to visit Israel, I urge you to go. It was a life-changing trip for me.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.