“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” MLK Jr
A few weeks ago I was planning on attending a Faith RX’d camp, anticipating a weekend of lectures, scripture, small group discussions and of course, some CrossFit workouts. My friend Becky Conzelman had started this amazing movement to bring Christ into CrossFit, where like-mind people could come together and relate with each other and form a local fellowship. With recognized staff leaders like Spencer Arnold, and Chris Spealler, people from all over were looking forward to attend and learn from these coaches. What started in Colorado has expanded throughout the United States and there are “chapters” we call them, or local bible studies at CrossFit gyms where people are leading and inviting the athletes at their gyms, that are spread out from San Diego, California, all the way to London, England.
I don’t believe in coincidences.
There was a malfunction on the website, and instead of only allowing 30 people to attend, there were 62 people allowed to register before they caught it. The staff of coaches that travels around teaching these camps agreed to add local coaches. So after an intense interview/evaluation process they added three, including myself. The words nervous and excited were an understatement to what I was feeling about stepping in and spiritually coaching these athletes. It is drastically different than just teaching them how to efficiently move barbells…. I was already confident in doing that.
As I was originally planning on attending the weekend, I knew it would be perfect for me to focus on Christ and the word after the chaos of Regionals training and the close of my 2014 CrossFit Games season. But what I didn’t know, was that there would be so much reward in being able to admit insight from virtual strangers on Friday, that left Sunday exchanging numbers and adding eachother on facebook. The support and interpretations of the bible and answering hard questions together in small groups was … irreplaceable. Our lives are flushed daily with CrossFit, and opening up about the source of the inner strength that keeps us going through the trials was something I recommend everyone reading this blog should think about experiencing.
One of the most well-known movements of Faith RX’d is having booths at the CrossFit Games and at the Weightlifting American Open. They gave away the New Testment Bible, with CrossFit athlete testimonies included that talked of their athletic career and more importantly, their walk with Christ. Realizing that it may have been the first time that people happened to receive the gospel, gives me chills on how amazing it is to be a part of this revolutionary movement.
So what does this have to do with AgerBomb seminars? Why am I writing this now, weeks later in anticipation of a new wave? Because I am flying to New Jersey for my first seminar since a month before Regionals and I have…. A special surprise. I have 11 New Testament Bibles with CrossFit athlete inserts to have available for the attendees of the seminar I’m teaching. If no one takes them, then I’ll pack them back up in my Reebok carry-on backpack, not big deal.
My first thoughts were questions that I hoped wouldn’t jeopardize my career. What if it turns off non-believers and makes it so that I can’t reach them? What if men don’t relate to my story, and therefor think that faith isn’t for them? Does this truly make me a bible-thumper? Yes, carrying a backpack full of these at the airport makes me bible thumper… What if no one takes them, and they just sit on a table? What if people of other religions get offended? Does this make me look less professional?
But if people take them, and the gospel can come to life for them for the first time, then I’ll take it as a good sign for the future, and next time I’ll be bold and bring more. God flourishes in my life story and testimony I tell in the beginning of my seminars, and I remind them that the message is not about “my CrossFit career, or my journey with God.” It’s to encourage them with confidence and unity to go forth and follow their dreams. The gospel has lit up my life, and isn’t just the best kept secret that only Christians can share—it’s for everyone.
So at the end of the day, when I look at the grand scheme of things, I can only think of all the reasons why I would bring bibles to my seminars. I’ve been given a sense of clarity and understanding, and I know one thing’s for sure….
“We are called to be BOLD.”