The Spirit of Fitness – Driven from Within

Primacy of the Spirit

Everything that we do at activprayer revolves around the simple principle that the spirit of a human being is its principle of life, of love, of communion with others.

A body without a spirit is no longer even a body: it’s a corpse.  The same is true of a fitness program, a company, or a team. When I walk into a high school locker room, I can’t always tell with my eyes if the team is physically prepared – but I can always tell if they have spirit. If it’s there, I know that they’re physically and mentally prepared, too.

The spirit comes first. When that’s right, the rest takes care of itself.

It doesn’t work the other way around.

Spirit and Freedom

It’s the spirit that sets us free – not our ability to perform any physical task that we draw out of a hopper. When the focus of a program is on external, measurable results, it turns the focus away from acting out of an interior freedom and toward responding to what we’re told is “the best fitness” (according to?). It diminishes freedom, and it’s certainly not personalized in a way that treats each person like a unique creation. It may build up the body, but it will eventually kill the spirit.

The difference between an interior animating principal (spirit) and an external program “to follow” (a law) is the difference between freedom and slavery, inspiration and guilt, acting vs. reacting, life and death. If we don’t see the difference in fitness, we risk not seeing it in other parts of our life. We want to build an approach to sports and fitness that is driven by the spirit – not a set of instructions written on a whiteboard.

As we move further and further along, the call is becoming more urgent.

What Does Spirit Look Like in ActivPrayer?

The spirit can be seen in every aspect of what we do: the Culture of our clubs, the way that think about training and nutrition, the way that we set goals, the way that our coaches train, the way that we intake clients – it touches everything. Here is one simple example from the realm of nutrition.

The Spirit of Nutrition

Old Way: Eat fruit, seeds, nuts, and lean meats.

New Way:  Eat to feed your spirit as much as your body. Pay attention to what how certain ways of eating move your spirit (the body and the spirit are connected – this is real, and it’s significant). No other diet on the planet has explored this. We will.

If a diet is killing your spirit, stop it.

Eat your grandmother’s pie on Thanksgiving Day. Try not to eat it everyday.

If having a glass of wine or a beer with friends brings cheer to your heart, the cheer means something. It’s important, too – not just the calories. Factor it in. Then, make a good decision.

Learn temperance, prudence, and develop all of the interior muscles that will give you the freedom to decide for yourself what and how much to eat in a given situation rather than consulting a chart or making universal judgments about the quality of a food without taking into account the circumstances.

Eat what is good when it is good for you to eat it.

 Nutritionists – we’re ready to explore this with you. Our entire program is still built on the core nutritional expertise that you already have: we’re just not stopping there. We want to go deeper, further, and higher with you to explore the relationships that go beyond merely physiological impact to the way that the entire human person is affected. The results are going to rock the industry. This is #EyesUpRiseUp time.

Luke Burgis
Luke Burgis, CSCS, is a Co-Founder of ActivPrayer, an architect of the activMAP, and a sports and performance coach that has worked in the nutrition and fitness industries for over 10 years. He graduated with a B.S. in Finance from NYU and also completed an S.T.B. in Sacred Theology at a university in Italy where he worked closely with the Vatican's office of Church & Sport about the role of sports and fitness in renewing cultures.

He is a well-known public speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship, fitness, and faith.
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