i stumbled across a book with an intriguing title at the public library this fall: “THIS IS MY BODY: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith”
i was very pleasantly surprised by this personal memoir! sutterfield intersperses his chapters about his childhood and years beyond college with snippets of his training for an ironman race. he points out the observations that i have made for many years that christian people seem to ignore our physical bodies in favour of becoming overweight and that the institutional church addresses sexuality with a “don’t have sex unless you’re married” warning as it’s main message. at the same time, he is not overly critical of the church and is actually studying to become an episcopalian priest.
sutterfield refers to food, the environment and faith in ways that make my own faith increase simply to know that other people understand the intricate connection between all these things. and he talks about his personal journey with God in honest and helpful ways as his own faith deepens.
a quote that resonated with me:
“We live in a culture that values spontaneity, if only because such a value works in favor of compulsions to buy, to eat, and to consume. But spontaneity doesn’t work if the goal is growth. Life runs on rhythms; order is unavoidable. My rhythm to that point had been to drive, smoke, drink Red Bull, and stay up late watching 30 Rock. Now in this desert time, as my body was finding its rhythm in prayer, I was also discovering new patterns of exercise.” (page 148)
as i was reading the book, i was struck by something that sutterfield doesn’t realize – or perhaps simply doesn’t share – about himself: that his addictions to the consumptive behaviours that he mentions in the quote are simply replaced by addictive behaviours for running, cycling, swimming and weight training.
interesting how humans are so predictable in the end. but a great read all the same.