What About Heart?

If you've ever been through a tough set in the gym or sprinted around a track as fast as you can, you know the feeling. Strength leads to struggle, struggle to fatigue, fatigue to failure. We hit a wall. We can't lift another ounce. To move our arms or legs any faster - or at all - would be impossible. One day in graduate school, my professor talked about VO2 max testing which is a brutal test of the rate of oxygen efficiency during exercise, and he mentioned there's a point at which no matter the effort, the value can't increase. I smirked. I shifted in my seat as I glanced around the room. I remember the day like it was yesterday, and so do my fellow classmates (watch the video they made me). But the idea that I - me, Jimmy Peña, the guy who never backed down from a fight or a challenge in the gym or otherwise - the idea that I could not improve, was foreign to me. My professor might as well have been speaking Yiddish. It did not compute.

I raised my hand and said, "Doc...what about heart? What about if you just want it more than anyone else?" And even though I got schooled, I still had trouble accepting it. And I think that's how we view our Christian life sometimes and even our lives as health-minded believers. Be it in our spiritual walk or health journey, we max out. But what's worse, when we fail spiritually or physically, we feel our identity is at stake. But what did Jesus say? “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


Someday it'll come naturally to do what Jesus said, but in many ways, my hand is still up. What about heart I ask? It's stoppable.

Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Here's the video I mentioned. This was a surprise presentation before an alumni award I was honored with a couple years ago. Enjoy.