After falling prone while running outside at OSU Newark in late January, it was time for another change in the workout routine. The change came from “going back to where I once (and still) belonged,” the YMCA.

The trail is so much easier on my aging ankles and knees. And the weight machines are a perfect complement to the stretching exercises prescribed by my personal trainer.

Even on these hot and humid summer days, nothing warms your heart more than seeing the smiles of familiar faces. Between being a member and volunteer chaplain for the Christian Emphasis program, I have been fortunate to have many friends at the Y over the years.

And I made two new friends. These gentlemen are walking at the same time as I run. When I walk past them and they say, “We’ve caught up with you again!” I LOL every time.

Like my teachers at Catholic school, these two must have their eyes in the back of their minds because they know exactly when to move and give me space. And they display great memories, calling out the names of other “regulars” who walk / run with us. I wish I could learn names in the church as well as a pastor.

The YMCA USA mission statement is based on Christian principles shared by all faiths and practiced daily in YMCAs across the country, which “build healthy minds, minds and bodies for all.”

In a nutshell, it explains what was missing from my workout routine for the ten months or so that I was running outside. You may be able to build a healthy body by doing this (when you’re not tripping over sidewalks), but you can’t build healthy minds and spirits by smiling and greeting passers-by from a distance, or engaging in conversations. with the statues.

The sisters who taught me often said, “The body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. And I have learned as a pastor and teacher that the heart is a place of fellowship.

This is where Jesus lives. And God created us to be together.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return on their work:

If one of them falls, one can help the other to get up. But have mercy on all those who fall

and has no one to help them (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10).

And let’s think about how we can challenge each other to love and good deeds, not giving up on coming together, as some are used to doing, but encouraging each other ( Hebrews 10: 24-25).

Before this day passes, why not do some spiritual training? Reach out and share God’s love with a family member or friend.

Reverend Mark Katrick is at St John’s UCC

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