Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mid Year Camp and Some Exercise: Spiritual and Physical Training

So, I spent the last week, from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon, on MYC, a bible camp put together by AFES (Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students). It was about 90% bible and 10% camp, making the first couple days feel more like bible college than camp, but I'm not complaining, even though it was mentally exhausting. On Wednesday, after a discussion on what it means to be a missionary (turns out you don't have to go to impoverished nations to bring food and the bible to be a missionary, turns out by definition all Christians are missionaries wherever we are) in the lobby area of the camp site, I picked up the lamo-brand barbell in the lobby, stuck some weights on the side and did supersets of OHP and BOR with about 40-45kg (based on the assumption that the bar was 5-10kg). Got a dirty look by one of the people running the camp site while I was at it. I wonder what sort of reaction I'd have gotten with jerks and Pendlay rows...

I played basketball one day. In our small teams, I was chosen for wearing a shirt that says: "I'm multi-talented: I can talk and annoy you at the same time." I guess the team leader didn't know that amongst my multiple talents, basketball, and indeed all ball sports, are nowhere to be found. I lost count of how many hoops the other team scored, but I distinctly recall my team scoring 0. There was a river walk at 7:15am on Thursday. I got up early for it, but also spent time beforehand making myself pretty by shaving, which resulted in me arriving at 7:20am, at which point whoever was going for the walk was gone. I ran to wherever I could see water from the dining hall, which meant about 20min of fasted cardio, but did not find any signs of human life. So I called it quits and opted for breakfast, over which I had a great deep and meaningful conversation, including a lot of edification and encouragement, and some effective kicking in the rear end. A few more deep and meanfinguls occurred in the latter half of the week, including staying up 2 hours after normal camp bed time with a small group macho-looking young men (eg one looks like a football player and probably is, one has a beard that every man is secretly envious of) talking about our dads. One of the guys started the night with a cup of coffee and ended the night with a cup of tears and snot, according to his own words. Much more enriching conversation than "So...what do you study?" Along the way, I got a look at some of the big blind spots that are ignored in my church communities, so now I get to be a man on a mission, and just as I've gotten a few good kicks in the butt on camp, I intend on giving a few good, swift kicks in the butt to my brothers in the near future. Action is good.

Even though I have a car of my own, I opted to get a lift from other campers to and from the site (my car's not great for bringing passengers and their luggage, and I have the geographic sensibilities of a carrot). The girl who drove me and a couple others from my church community home discovered that the added weight of people + luggage makes an uphill start a trickier game. Long story short, I was happy to give her whatever cash I had to go a tiny way towards helping with the costs of repairs to her vehicle.

This morning I went to the gym and did the most disgusting thing anyone's ever done: a conditioning session. Went away feeling all worked out and good in just under an hour. Despicable.

About a minute or 2 of flailing about.

Sled Drag
100m x 20kg
100m x 30kg
Several sets (wasn't really counting; something like 6) x 50m x 40kg

Log Press/Cable Row

Body Weight Box Squats


  1. There are a group over here called Jehovahs witnesses that many people give a lot of grief and I don't. They go knocking on doors etc. preaching Christianity, and this gets them a bad rep in many quarters. I am not religious but remember a reading saying that it was every Christian's duty to go out and spread the word of the lord, so they are actually doing what is supposed to be done, and whether I beleive or not I respect them going out to do so rather than settign up a building and waiting for people to come to them.
    One classic I do remember was after a night of late work I had slept in. There was a ring of the doorbell and I went to answer in my somewhat tatty dressing gown, bleary eyed, unshaven, hair about 3 feet long and everywhere, real charm school looks. There was a man in his mid forties and another in his late teens, evidence of the watchtower magazine letting me know exactly who they were. I looked up squintling from the fiery orb in the sky, as the younger of the two took a half step back evidently unsure. The older asked if I had given any thought to my future. I smiled and responded 'Sorry I am not in the mood for a theological debate right now.' The young lad looked dumbfounded at my evident lack of desire to remove his limbs, while the older guy smiled back at me with thanks and looked knowingly at the younger, he'd evidently judged me far better.

    I think camps like that are a great way to learn. Even the best churches tend to miss out huge areas of the gospels, and that gives a very unbalanced version of the faith. One of my old training partners has read through the bible 5 times cover to cover and several sections more often between times. He was one of the most knowledgable Christians I have known in many ways who tended to upset those presuming to think a simple quote was enough to support an argument without considering context etc. He was also very aware that his interperetation wasn't automatically correct, and liked to hear others view points even if they didn't affect his.

    Good to see you enjoyed it and gained from it.

    1. Thanks Tony. We have JW's here, too, and they get the same slack. Whenever they come around, I talk to them. We have significant theological differences, but they actually practice what they preach, which I appreciate. In the same way, one of the men at camp was talking about how Charismatic churches are right to go to church expecting that something will actually happen, even though he doesn't necessarily agree with what they expect to happen.

      Yesterday and today I've been helping out at a stall for my uni Christian group (first week of semester all of the uni clubs/groups/affiliates get to set up stalls to promote themselves to passers-by). There was a guy who walked up to our stall and started checking out the stuff on our table this morning: had very long hair, a beard, a cigarette in his mouth, camo pants and I can't remember his shirt, but it was probably the merchandise of a death metal band. Seeing as I'm the kind of guy whose "good pants" are the ones that only have a few rips in them, I thought we'd get along great, but after I said "goodmorning," he decided it was time to leave.


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