“We are an uphill people!” my cycling instructor cried.
Sweat poured from my forehead and I felt a surge of nausea from all the intense pedaling.
My insides screamed, “No, I’m a downhill person! I’m an eat rocky road Haagen-Dazs in my bed while I peruse reality TV shows kind of person.”
I wanted to hop off my bike and hurl in the hallway.
Instead, I decided to contemplate the profound spiritual metaphor the instructor inadvertently communicated. I decided to think about how I desire to be an uphill person, a person who rises above my basest wants (like hopping off the stationary bike and into my bed) so that I can act according to God’s will. I want to be the kind of person who walks up the mountain in search of Someone Great, not down it in search of myself.
Full disclosure: I struggled during cycling class because this past fall, I gave up the exercise regime to which I had been very dedicated to for almost two years. I got burnt out and decided exercising was taking up too much of my time.
It’s almost like Screwtape himself was whispering, “See? You’re good now. You don’t really need to walk those 10,000 steps. Why don’t you take it easy for a while?”
Sadly, I listened and now, ten pounds and no stamina later, I’m back to the physical education drawing board. Incidentally, I’ve been reading Dante’s Inferno. I’m not perusing this great work of art on my own, of course, because like my lack of motivation to exercise and eat well, I’m also not motivated to dive into difficult masterpieces on my own accord. My book club selected The Divine Comedy to read and so in the past few weeks I’ve been walking with Dante through the dregs of hell.
Read the rest at Catholic Exchange.