Just Because

"Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as unto the Lord, and not for men." --Colossians 3:23

Read: Colossians 3 The last two days have been special in the Peña household. My beloved Yankees came to town to play the Dodgers. But stay with me, you football fans, it gets better. See, it's because I wasn't able to actually go to the game that I had the honor of listening to the legendary Vin Scully broadcast it. To hear him welcome "The Great Derek Jeter" to the plate (his words) was, well, was just about perfect.

For those who know Vin Scully, you're well aware that he can find the best stories about each player on the baseball field. Well, my night went from good to great when he reminisced about current Dodger coach Don Mattingly back in 1995 -- then the Yankees veteran captain -- talking to a young rookie Derek Jeter. Vin Scully recounted, "It was just a regular practice. The stadium was empty. Not a soul in the stands. And when it was time to go to the clubhouse, Don turned to Derek and said, 'Let's run. Always hustle. You never know who's watching.'"

You never know who's watching. Well, we know who's watching don't we?  Our verse today says, "Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as unto the Lord, and not for men." (Colossians 3:23) We've said it before but there's no reason why we should ever be out-worked. Never so that the world sees us, or for the social community to praise us, but simply for the Lord. You know, the longer I live the more I know that Jesus is the reason we summon whatever it is He made us with to answer life's call from the deepest parts of us.

He's why we forgive and give, hold the door, hold the hand, hold our tongues. He's why we serve, share, smile with people one day and cry with them the next. And He's why we see health as stewardship. He's why we take the stairs, take charge of what we drink, take ownership of what we eat. He's why we run, walk, swim, train and work with all our might. And He's why we do so modestly and quietly. Does He love us more or less if we succeed or fail at any of it? Of course not. And that's just why. So friends, today, in our own unique way, in whatever ways we have to or can, let's run. Always hustle. Just because He's watching.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Are you answering your life's call from the deepest parts of you? Is it time to run at work, school, the dinner table?


For as often as we espouse the virtues of high-intensity training, some may find our fitness tips to be a bit intimidating. After all, working harder than you’re accustomed to never sounds like a fun undertaking. And while there are some actual, defining guidelines for intensity — i.e. working to 95% of your max effort on an interval run — you can take heart knowing that it is also relative.

One example is interval walking. If you’re not up to performing sprints, you can simply speed up the pace of your walks. Try walking at a faster clip for 30 seconds, then falling back into your normal pace for 1-4 minutes. As you progress, speed up the pace — it may not be long before you’re into a slow jog — and/or shorten rest periods. Ideally, you want to work toward 30-second “sprints” followed by one-minute “walks.” One study showed that subjects who performed 4-6, 30-second sprints three times per week burned more bodyfat than those who did traditional steady-state cardio. But the term “sprint” is a measure of effort, rather than speed.

You don’t have to be a sprinter to get the fat-burning, heart-healthy benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). By applying the basic tenets of HIIT to your cardio and implementing concept of progression, you can start right where you are — today.