FITNESS AGON

The place of struggle

“Run with endurance the race that is set before you.” Running the race is the culmination of months of sweat & struggle.

It’s tricky to come up with a title that embodies catchiness, meaning, thought, intrigue and relevance…all pre-requisites for an effective blog or book title.  “Fitness Agon” is my attempt to convey these traits for the purposes of this blog.
So what does it mean?  “Agon” represents a Greek concept, referred to in a few places in the Bible, that captures the idea of conflict or struggle. Used in Hebrews 12:1-2, “agon” is translated to race in English, so in many Bible translations, the verse reads something like this:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”
I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar or have much knowledge of Greek; I do however, own a book that makes up for my inadequacies.  If you are a Bible reader and desire to get a comprehensive look at Scripture passages, I encourage you to use a book like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.  This book shows where every word of text in the Bible is used, and also offers dictionaries for Hebrew and Greek words of the original words, with references to the English words.  My personal copy is based off the KJV version, but you can get other versions as well.

The start of a new endeavor can be thrilling and daunting at the same time, but to finish the race, starting is an must.

So as I looked into a new title for the blog, I simply referred to the concordance for references to “race” in the Bible, and looked at the Greek root.  That is where I learned about “Agon.”  In Greek context, it refers to the place where the national fitness contests took place, or the struggle that embodies the competition.  In English, “agon” refers a literary conflict between the protagonist and antagonist.
For my purposes, I am using “agon” to represent the struggles and challenges associated with living a fit and strong life.  As many of you know, this lifestyle is not easy; in fact, it’s a battle!  Daily we war against the temptations of food, depression, self-worth, pain, negativity and more as we pursue wholeness.  But if you are in the midst of that conflict, take heart.  The battle is not without a payoff.  While the external milestones (losing weight, getting off meds, finishing a contest, etc.) teach us valuable life lessons, the best lesson is that our successes will be remembered.  “Agon” used in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 gives us this promise:
 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
God sees your struggle and hears your cries of pain, despair and discouragement and he does not ignore you.  Keep fighting, and he will reward you better than you can ever imagine.

The pain and struggle of the race will always be worth the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when we cross the finish line.

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