I did something this past Sunday that I generally do not like to do…public speaking. Not too long after I was approached by Shaw about doing an interview with them for TV, my husband and I were approached about sharing a little bit about our spiritual journey during an upcoming service at our church. Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, Kane was more reluctant to do it than I was. Although there can never be any doubt that I am an introvert and will always have an aversion to public speaking, I was actually kind of excited about this opportunity. That opportunity finally took place this past Sunday morning.
In talking about the upcoming church interview with my trainer last Friday, he made a comment about wearing a pair of my gym socks that day, and I thought that was a great idea. Of course, wearing socks meant I had to wear shoes rather than my flip-flops and pants, because I am not quite brave enough to wear colourful, knee-high socks with funky sayings on them with a skirt on stage. Now if I had been wearing a singlet, I would have had no problems showing off my socks on stage. In fact, if I had been wearing a singlet and lifting weights on the stage, I probably would have been much more comfortable and relaxed!
Instead, even with my ‘fearless’ socks, I was a nervous wreck beginning about 10 minutes before the service actually began. My throat dried up, my hands and entire body was a shaky mess, my heart was pounding, and wickedly volatile emotions were threatening to spill all over the place. I have not been that nervous for a long time, not for my competitions and not even for the TV interview! Have I mentioned how much I hate public speaking?
So why did I agree to do it? Because I knew it was the right thing to do. There were really only two questions for me to answer.
- Tell us about your story and some of the things you’ve been wrestling with.
- How are you encountering Jesus as you work out and go to the gym?
The first question was the most difficult to answer, because it is intensely personal and to speak of intensely personal things usually makes me choke up with tears and emotion. While the TV interview did touch on some of my story and struggles, it really was just skimming the surface and I was able to keep too much emotion out of my voice, although there is a bit of a crack to be heard. I guess there is also a big difference between speaking to one stranger, even with a camera rolling, and speaking to a couple hundred people, many of whom have some sort of regular interaction with me! So, I’m not going to address that first question here, because I’ve covered a lot of that in my blog and the TV interview. If you want to know more…just ask.
As for the second question, this isn’t something I have specifically covered on the blog. Here, in a nutshell, is what I had to say:
Not only did I see physical changes, but God changed my attitude, my thoughts, my self-perception and confidence, and the way that I perceived how God saw me. He has been showing me who I am, who He created me to be. The stronger I get physically, the softer my heart is for others and for worship. I feel worship welling up inside and bubbling out of me. The confidence that I gain with every heavy lift transfers over to using the gifts that God has placed within me to bless others and for His glory. It might seem strange to think that one can encounter Jesus while lifting weights, but I’ve experienced it and I’m a different person because of it.
I think my voice finally decided that it wasn’t going to give way to tears about halfway through what I had to say, but I’m fairly certain that the shaking didn’t stop until I was completely finished. The fact that I made it through without actually crying makes me incredibly happy! However, the tears could not be held at bay after the service when I was hugged and thanked for sharing by many people. But I guess those tears were okay.
Now I am quite glad to have no further plans for public speaking or television interviews! It is definitely easier on my nerves to be in a singlet, powerlifting on a platform in front of a crowd, although apparently my trainer gets quite nervous when I am competing! 😉