1. King David
“Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.” (2 Samuel 3:1.) King David was a shepherd, oftentimes fighting off wolves and even lions. He then later became one of the greatest warriors of the Old Testament, which meant training drills and long durations of hard living.
“Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men.” (Judges 15:13-17) Samson is the original superhero. Given god-like strength to fight off the enemies of God’s chosen people, unfortunately, his hair played a major role.
“As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he spoke with the LORD.” (Exodus 34:29) Let us not forget that Moses climbed all the way up the mountain, did not eat or drink for forty days and then walked back down carrying two huge stone tablets.
“Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:17) Ruth walked with Naomi from Moab to Bethlehem, approximately 50 miles while carrying the psychological burden of Naomi’s hardship.
5. Jacob, son of Isaac
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” (Genesis 32:24-26) Jacob wrestled with the angel of God for nearly an entire day. It took dislocating his hip and the charge of God to stop the match.
“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.” (Hebrews 11:5) It is widely believed that Enoch lived to the age of 365, until God took him up into the heavens. To live that long and be perfected took a lot of diet, nutrition and exercise.
7. John the Baptist
“John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.” (Matthew 3:4) To live in the wilderness for many years eating a steady diet of locusts (high in nutrients) and wild honey (high in good bacteria and anabolic), walking from place to place, John was stacked with muscle.
8. The Samaritan Woman at the Well
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (John 4: 7) To carry that jug to the well back home everyday took a lot of fitness. Through her daily exercise she had the opportunity to meet Christ face to face.
9. St. Paul
“Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) It is said that St. Paul walked over 10,000 miles on three separate occasions. Fit is an understatement.
“And carrying the cross himself he (Jesus) went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.” (John 19:17) Jesus was the perfect man. He would have been health conscious as well as aware of his body’s needs. He was raised by a carpenter in a time when the tools were shrewd. He walked everywhere he went, which some experts say added up to approximately 18,000 miles. I think we also tend to forget that the cross he carried weighed approximately 110 lbs which he carried uphill.
Guest post by Jared Zimmerer
Jared is a Catholic author, speaker, blogger, husband and father of 4, and the Director of Adult Catechesis and Evangelization at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Grapevine, TX. He is the founder of Strength for the Kingdom, a ministry promoting men’s growth in virtue, knowledge of the Catholic faith, and the understanding of authentic masculinity through physical endeavors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, is a competitive all-natural bodybuilder and a passionate advocate of evangelizing the fitness and bodybuilding culture with the help of the Catholic Faith.He is the author of three books, The Ten Commandments of Lifting Weights: Recommendations to the Devout Body Builder , Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man, and Building a Classic Physique: Naturally Achieving a Lean, Functional, Aesthetic BodyHis website is JaredZimmerer.com where he regularly blogs and posts videos on subjects of fitness, faith and philosophy.