What I Learned About Going to Church by Joining the Gym

It’s far more intimidating than “regulars” remember.

Stepping through the front doors, not knowing where to look. Ok, there’s the front desk. How do I ask for information without sounding like a moron? Just play it cool.”

Those were my first thoughts when I walked into Gold’s Gym about two months ago. I went in to get information about joining because there was a sign out front advertising a good promotion. It’s something I’d wanted to do for quite a while. I knew my health is important. I was an athlete in high school (not a very good one, but an athlete nonetheless) and since graduating from college over a decade ago I had pretty much stopped any regular exercise until jumping back into the game a few years ago.

Deadlift GripMy very non-professional observation about exercise is this: you’re a cardio person or you’re a lifting person. Very rarely do you genuinely enjoy both. We all know that both are important, but most people truly enjoy one or the other. I’ve always been a lifting person who puts up with cardio because it’s a necessity.

This is all to say… when I walked into the gym I felt like I needed to carry myself as if I belonged (even though I obviously didn’t). I felt the need to talk a good game. To prove why they should want meI know what I’m doing in here! Put out a strong vibe and hope they buy it.

Continue reading

Hope for Orlando and the LGBTQ Community

We’re all trying to digest the tragedy in Orlando: 50 people are dead and many more injured after the largest mass-shooting in America at a gay nightclub. The gunman has pledged allegiance to ISIS and many are pointing fingers at Islam. He used two guns he legally purchased last week, despite being on an FBI watchlist.

One thing is for certain: there’s a problem. And it’s so big no law will fix it. That doesn’t mean laws aren’t good or helpful or necessary. But they aren’t enough.

The temptation to live in fear is very present. But living in fear only means your potential for survival is higher. It’s no secret the gay community believes the Church is full of judgmental bigots who think their sin is worse than our own.

My question is this: Will we prove them right (by offering cold-hearted sympathy), or will we show them we aren’t who they think we are?

Dead Tree Forest

Continue reading