Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

5 Things I Learned From My Workout Partner That Have Nothing to do With Working Out

For the past two and a half years Dave Hood and I have been meeting at 5:30 in the morning to work out. Okay, we meet most mornings – let’s say three to five times a week. It started because we both wanted to get healthier, and while we didn’t know each other that well it continued because a deep friendship was forged. Over the past several years I’ve learned a lot from Dave and from our time working out – here are my top five.

1.    “I don’t have enough time,” is not a valid excuse for anything.  A better statement would be, “That is not a big enough priority in my life.” Working out at 5:30 am has been a great lesson in priorities, and the truth is I wouldn’t have gotten up at 5:30 am on my own, but having someone who was going to meet me there made it worth getting up. The person I was meeting is what made it a priority.
2.    I would disappoint myself before I would disappoint someone else. This is by far my greatest stretch of consistently working out. All because I don’t want Dave to think less of me. While I would certainly disappoint myself by not working out; I won’t disappoint Dave.
3.    Hard work forges relationships. Working out together created a bond that was different from other discipleship relationships. I’ve seen what it takes to give it my all, and I’ve seen the limits that Dave has been willing to push. Because of that I know his heart and trust what “giving it his all” really means.
4.    Some days you need to go to Waffle House. Okay, some of you are already opposed to this sentence, but what I mean is that some days it is just about the realization that we need to talk. That life has overtaken things and it is more important to hang out, then to work out. Waffle House days remind me that we are in this through the hard parts of life and not just the tough workouts.
5.    Discipleship can (and will) happen anywhere you consistently show up. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing that happened over the last 2.5 years is that we grew closer to Christ. We pushed ourselves through accountability and honest communication. We fought, we listened, and we got healthier – inside and out.

Dave is moving to Cincinnati next week and while I will miss my time with him in the morning I am confident that he will forever be a part of my life. Cheers to you Dave, and thanks to being there.

Who in your life can be that "workout" partner?

How can you integrate discipleship with other activities?

Where can you forge ahead in faith? 

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