Friday, January 20, 2012

Praying to the Rhythms of Exercise

Yesterday was a trying and exhausting day on many levels, not the least of which was finding out that my credit card had been stolen when someone wanted to make a $1500 donation to the March of Dimes.

I'd like to eradicate birth defects as much as the next person, but if I could afford to make a $1500 donation, it would be to Lutheran World Relief or to the ELCA malaria eradication efforts.

We got the phone call from the Fraud unit of the credit card company after a long morning of all the phone calls that an impending real estate transaction takes--we are hoping to finally sell my mother-in-law's condo next week.  She died just as the real estate market imploded, and we've been stuck.  But selling a condo is not without special headaches.

So, by the time I got to evening spin class, I was wrung out from a day of anxiety and phone calls.  I was also feeling guilty (and yes, anxious) about my inability to turn off my anxiety response.  I hopped on the bike and spun and prayed.

I'm always startled when I can pray during spin class.  The music is loud, and the instructor has to give us direction, and we're often changing approaches.  But when I can pray, the rhythm often works.

I've had great luck praying during walks, either in straight lines or in a labyrinth.  But I don't often pray in other exercise situations.

The pounding music was great for short prayers, repeated over and over again.  The exercise setting reminded me to pray for health for so many people who are struggling.  The sweat poured off of me, which felt like a baptism.

I emerged from spin class feeling energized and cleansed.  I need to remember to try praying during exercise more often.

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