boot camp….good for the soul

Dumb things we do.

At the moment I’m in just over half-way through a four week “boot camp”.  A bunch of us gather in the local park, basketball court or swimming pool three times a week at some ridiculous hour of the morning (honest, I didn’t even know there was a 6 “AM”) to be cajoled, motivated and threatened in the nicest possible way by our two boot camp physical trainers.

The goal is to be a little fitter, and a little trimmer – and do exercise with a group, in community as it were. I’ve never been great at being motivated to solo exercise (running? only if I’m late for dinner), so it’s been great to be with a group to stay encouraged and committed.

Each session is just a little different. Pilates, running, jumping, aerobics, aqua-aerobics, boxing, core-strength circuits and so on. Each day we gather, do a different type of exercise, working on different muscle groups, and keeping the variety and interest levels high.

And each day I go home tired, sore and happy.

Boot camp for me is a kick start, an intense four week experience to help change my eating and exercising habits. I can imagine doing it every year or so, to just help keep my motivation for good health high. For others it’s a regular thing – every month or every few months.

And as I sweat and groan and whinge my way through the morning’s workout, I get to wondering….just as boot camp is good for my body (and probably my mind), I wonder what a boot camp designed to be good for my spirit would be like?

Imagine gathering three times weekly over a four week period to work through a whole range of spiritual “exercises”.  Imagine walking the labyrinth, praying taize style, contemplative meditation, lectio divinia and so on.

For some it would be an occasional thing, the opportunity to give my spiritual life a little nudge along, to try some different forms of spiritual nourishment. For others maybe a little more frequent.

I just camp help wondering what it would look like….boot camp for the spirit.

Just as long as there are no push-ups.


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