Tuesday, May 18, 2010

operation: faster pastor

So, most of the year I am able to get around and I think that I am in fairly good shape. I walk most everywhere in town, I can go upstairs without getting winded, I'm pretty active and play lots of games with the kids at church. But there is one week out of the year that shows me how far I am from the kind of shape I'd really like to be in. That is Confirmation Camp.

They play this game every summer, one of my absolute favorites, that involves a lot of running. Well, most of their games involve running, but this one is almost constant running. It goes by many names. When I was a counselor at camp we called it "Biffer and Medic." But I've heard it called "Bonkers" and "Boof" and a few other things. The gist of the game is this: Campers are trying to be the first camper to visit various stations throughout the camp. At these stations they have to do certain tasks and then they receive a mark for having done them. Now, while they are trying to find these stations and do these tasks, there are people called Biffers. These people are running around with socks filled with flour and they are trying to "biff" the kids. If a camper gets biffed, they must stop in that location and call for help. The only person that can help them is called a Medic. A medic will follow the calls for help and then they let the person resume the game.

Two summers ago I ended up filling in part way through the game for a Biffer who was needed elsewhere. I ran all over the place, chasing the kids, having a great time. Until I thought I might die. Like my heart might beat out of my chest or my lungs might force their way up through my nose. At that point, I was a pretty worthless biffer and I mainly laid around and moaned and foamed a bit at the mouth. Ok, so it wasn't that bad. But it definitely showed me how out of shape I was.

Last year, I managed to play an entire game as a biffer. By the end I wasn't the fastest biffer, and I had to stop for short rests, but I played the entire game. I was proud. Of course, many of these junior high campers were in far better shape and they had no trouble eluding me. Toward the end of the game, a group of three or four junior high boys saw me and a couple started to run away, but one of them said, "Oh, he's not a big deal. We can outrun him."

Ouch. True, but ouch.

So I kind of had this idea that I would get in shape for next summer. I thought I'd come back to camp and maybe not be a huge threat to the kids, but I'd be a bigger one than I have been.

I'm sad to say it, but camp is about 4 weeks away and I have just started trying to do something about this. I'm not sure that in 4 weeks I will be able to get into the kind of shape I'd like to be in. Especially after months of sedentary living and greasy food eating. But I figure every little bit helps. If I stay active and do something resembling exercise every day between now and then, who knows? I might strike a little more fear into the hearts of these campers then, say, a rampaging three toed sloth.

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