Archive for July, 2009

Friday Five: Exercise

Friday Five: Exercise from RevGalBlogPals:

Sophia posted the challenge: “I just got back from an 8 mile bike ride down the beach boardwalk near our home, and was struck with the number of people out enjoying physical activity. Runners, other cyclists, surfers, swimmers, dogwalkers, little kids on scooters….

It’s easy to lose track of my physical self-care in the midst of flurried preparation for a final on-campus interview Monday for a college teaching position in the Midwest (prayers welcome!) and the family move that would accompany it. But each day that I do make time to walk or ride my bike it is such a stress reliever that it is well worth the time invested!

So how about you and your beautiful temple of the Holy Spirit?”

From LeAnn: (Added later to clarify)– We are on the West Coast for now. I love the fact that one of my friends thought I would be qualified to teach at the college level though…. thanks Erin! The issuer of the challenge is Sophia who is quoted above.  Sorry for the confusion!

1. What was your favorite sport or outdoor activity as a child? I loved riding my bike. We lived in an area where I could ride my bike to my friend’s house (about 1/2 mile away) without getting on busy streets. I think this was probably when I really gained my independence. I thought I could go anywhere on that bike!

Recently, one of my best friends, my husband and I rented bikes in Golden Gate Park. It’s been 15+ years since I’d been on a bike. How did I let that happen? It was scary and fun all at the same time!

Barry, me, and Jen

Barry, me, and Jen

2. P.E. class–heaven or the other place? Loved PE class. I had great teachers which I think is what’s all about… especially in middle school!

3. What is your favorite form of exercise now? It’s a toss up. I started running in seminary so I’ve only been doing it for about 5 years. I love practicing yoga too.

4. Do you like to work out solo or with a partner? Both. I love working out in the gym with weights and a partner. I get bored otherwise. However, I could just as easily go to the nearest park for a great solo run!

5. Inside or outside? Outside. One of the reasons why I’m not a fan of cold weather. I have trouble staying motivated in the winter!

Bonus: Post a poem, scripture passage, quotation, song, etc. regarding the body or exercise.

I’ve been reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s newest book, An Altar in the World. One of my favorite chapters so far has been Chapter 3 entitled, “The Practice of Wearing Skin.” She writes about praying for and loving our bodies. There is one particular line that stuck with me.  She writes, “Whether you are sick or well, lovely or irregular, there comes a time when it is vitally important  for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address.’ After you have taken a good look around, you may decide that there is a lot to be thankful for, all things considered.”

well said BBT.

Happy Friday!


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This week the Bay area CPE programs spent two days at a retreat center in Los Gatos, CA. Presentation Center is a beautiful retreat center nestled up the mountain off Hwy 17. We had an hour of free time built into the schedule today. The weather has been beautiful and quite a relief from the heat & humidity of where I found myself the last few weekends (Florida & Texas). I took advantage of the free time, sunshine, and beautiful space. I went for a walk.

I love discovering new places. There is this sense that I have to push myself. I have to remind myself that being willing to risk going down the unbeaten path might be worth it. I have the conversation with myself that even at my age of 30 (ahem) it’s okay to take the way that doesn’t look “safe”.

Today I discovered a path like this. It was worn down like a path that had been well traveled but it was not manicured. I doubt that folks have taken it recently. There was no sign but I could see something at the bottom. Curiosity got the best of me. I walked down a series of steps– 50 maybe– tucked into the hillside. I discovered what appeared to be an old meeting area.

Maybe not that old. There was a wooden platform at the front. Facing the platform were a series of benches circling around in amphitheater style. Weeds and plants sprung up from the crevices which was another indication that the area hadn’t been used lately. In spite of the  well worn steps, abandoned chairs, and full grown weeds, it was a beautiful place. I didn’t stay long. I didn’t need to.

It was vespers. Well, I don’t know what it was for the folks at the Presentation Center but for me it was vespers at Camp Pinnacle.

I missed camp today.

I missed hearing the voices of campers singing at the top of their lungs. I missed meeting missionaries, even the strange ones and hearing their stories of ways they witnessed God working in the world. I missed the beautiful mountain. I missed the peaceful (and sometimes orange) lake. I missed the swing set where so many beautiful conversations were held through the years. I missed hearing “God has something to say to you. God has something to say. Listen, listen, pay close attention…. ”

I missed camp today.

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