The 5 S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.~ Ken Doherty
I finished my 3500-calorie meal from Applebee’s and sat back for a night of baseball on my comfy couch. I was thinking for a second about staying up late so that I can delay the inevitable day of work the next day. Dreading the rush to get to work on time and having that long walk to the back of the warehouse to the time clock to punch on time; having to stop and to catch my breath midway to the clock. I get up to go to bed and have the hard task of arching my back to get up out of the deep couch and to pull myself up to my feet. The next morning I’m running late and grab a fork lift to drive to the back of the warehouse. I feel a pain in my chest and am concerned about it. I never felt it before and I feel dizzy a little. As I got my shoes on this morning I had to sit back to catch my breath because it’s a difficult task to tie your shoes and you can’t breath. When I got in my car my wife was driving it the night before to pick up the Applebee’s so I have to adjust the seat all the way back because I am tall and tilt the seat back to fit my stomach in front of the wheel. This was my life when I was 449 pounds and suffering from congestive heart failure brought on by my weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of the US population is obese and overweight. I was of course in the morbid obesity level, not all of that one third, thank God, is that heavy.
My attitude about athletes has changed since becoming one myself. Most of the people I have run into are so positive and are very much for the unhealthy becoming healthy. I am good friends with three personal trainers. One helped nurse me back to health and was instrumental in helping me take that weight off. The other two I met through the first and they have helped me maintain the weight I have now through encouragement and showing me exercises to help me stay at my current weight. All of these trainers live by the 5 S’s and use the most important one, spirit. Their goal is to help people over come their circumstances of poor health, make them active, and live. Small beginnings lead to big victories and these trainers have that at the heart of what they teach and train. The know inside people who struggle with weight there is a skinny athlete waiting to come out. By using these 5 S’s they have bridged the gap between athletics and the couch. We can learn to use the 5 S’s in our everyday Christian life as well as training for any competitive event. These 5 S’s can bridge the gap between forward momentum with our walk with God and being stagnant.
- Stamina: This is staying power, flow of energy and consistency. You get this by slowly adding length to your workouts. I can use running as an example, when you train for a half marathon you want to weekly add more time to your longest run of the week. As you do this, your stamina gets longer and stronger. As we work toward our dream, our big hairy audacious goal, we have to take small steps to get there. God will bless those steps we take if they are the ones He wants to focus on. How we do this is through prayer, bible study and fasting. The adventure is you will not always know where you are going, but God wants to build your character before you get there. Stamina is building longevity and character. The best source of stamina in your spiritual life is godly love.
- Speed: The faster you turn your legs over, the more chance you have of winning the race. Speed can be either your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s your worst enemy when you don’t know when to use it. If you begin a sprint at the wrong time, you will run out of energy before you reach the finish line. Using speed is strategic in a race, when you put your fastest at the right time you will win the race. It’s the same in our spiritual life. We have to live intentionally as I talked about in my prior post. Plan out how we will respond to whatever circumstance we may have to face. It is less stressful when we live this way.
- Strength: Is putting stamina into purpose. In a race, strong legs are what keep you from falling on your face. The driving force behind strength is stamina. As you put your godly love into practice, your strength of character will keep you on your feet. Love provides the energy and the Holy Spirit provides the strength to endure, keeps your framework strong.
- Skill: Speed is the strategy and skill is putting forth the strategy. Experience is the key to skill. As we learn how to run properly and to employ the strategy at the correct time we acquire skill. It’s the learn as you burn principle. Experience is the best teacher. Your correct strategy is found when your skill is built on your experiences. Once you have experienced God’s love you will find the stamina, strength, speed and the skill you need to win the race.
- Spirit: Spirit is the most important no doubt, without it our heart is just not in the race. When I talk about spirit here I am talking about the human spirit. It’s the spirit to make the correct choices in life. Choosing right over wrong, being intentional in our love. Human spirit is the most important because without it we would never have chosen to live for Christ. God gives us a free human will, which is the spirit. It’s the right attitude at the right time. Without it, we would not even be in the race.
These 5 S’s bridge the gap between athletics and the couch. They also bridge the gap between being active and dynamic in your Christian life, or being stagnant and unmoving. Between overcoming the world or being overcome by the world. Using the 5 S’s will make your dream a reality. It may take awhile, but God wants to grow you and make you better. There is joy in the journey.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.