Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 23 April |
Saint of the Day: St. George
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

How I’m planning to turn exercise into a mini-pilgrimage, with Mary at my side

WOMAN RUNNING STAIRS

Daxiao Productions | Shutterstock

Michael Page - published on 10/18/17

From taking care of the temple that God provided for me, to worshiping within the temple of the universe that He gave all of us.

I’ve started a dozen exercise programs over the years, only to abandon them after a few weeks (or a few days, if I’m being honest). But I think I may have stumbled upon something today to keep the fire burning.

As fall returns and our kids are back to school, I have found myself with a few more moments of solitude in the morning. I decided to take a little of that time to exercise so that I will be able to keep up with my kids in the years to come.

I started experimenting with some modest stair climbing. There is a staircase at a complex near my house that affords an incredible view from the top of a local inland lake as well as Lake Michigan. You are able to see sunrises as well as sunsets from the vista, and it is spectacular. Especially as the vibrant colors of autumn are taking over.

This morning after my children went off to school, I biked down to the stairs and started my hikes up and down, up and down. After the first set I realized it was a day to pray the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, so I began. What happened next transformed the experience from being about me and taking care of the temple that God provided for me, to worshiping within the temple of the universe that He gave all of us.

The experience became much larger than simply a set of stairs. All of a sudden I was in Jerusalem, watching Christ on his way to Calvary. I began seeing other people on the stairs with a more compassionate eye, and began to pray for them as well.  The whole experience was transformed from “self-maintenance” to mission.

I turned my imagination to the Communion of Saints. I began to think of all of the hills and mountains that the saints had climbed throughout the centuries. I began to think of Juan Diego, of St. Francis of Assisi, of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, of Moses and then Jesus on the Mount of Olives.


WOMAN TRIATHLON RACE CYCLE

Read more:
The Sorrowful Mysteries for athletes

I thought of Mary — she is a sure companion to all of my days’ activities, so why not a companion to my exercise as well? She herself had to climb her own share of mountains, including the climb to Calvary.

Our faith tradition has given us great examples of praying while climbing. Drawing from this inspiration, I am going to incorporate more rosaries into exercise. My suspicion is that over time, I will not consider it to be exercise anymore. Those moments of silence and physical exertion are set to become mini-pilgrimages, with an added health benefit.


BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI

Read more:
Planning to scale a mountain? Don’t forget to do this

Tags:
Health and WellnessPrayerRosary
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
HEART OF JESUS
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
4
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
7
ANXIETY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for anxiety
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.