Your Stories: Exercise (Part 1)

Your Stories: Exercise (Part 1)

Posted on April 30, 2017


As we start our series, #thestruggleisreal, we want to give you, the people of Grace a big voice. We want you to share your stories, your struggles and the things that keep you going. We're a community...better yet...we're family. And, we need to spur one another along to succeed. Below are two stories from Grace attenders. Have one you want to share? Contact us!

Joe Agraviador

I use to be over weight and there are a few things that helped me get in better health.

  • This is a life change, not a diet, not a phase, not short time commitment, this is something you have to do for the rest of your life.

  • Nothing really has changed from health practices 40 years ago: eat things in moderation/correct serving sizes and exercise.

  • Start slow. Unless you are disciplined, determined, and have the utmost in will power, start SLOW. You need to give you body time to adjust. I personally started 3 days a week about 10 - 20 minutes a day, exercising,  eating, I ate healthy for 5 days straight, and binged for 2 straight days.

  • Exercise plan. Start with something that you like to do, because again, if you don't like it, you will not continue. 

  • Eating. Generally you know what is healthy: grilled, low fat, low sugar, real fruits/vegetables, nuts, lots of water, etc. Also, read labels and follow the serving size (if you want to eat chips then great, count it out to serving size, don't just open the bag and sit down). Be sure to read the ingredients. If you don't know what it is, it's probably not a healthy choice.

  • Cheat days. These are IMPORTANT! These can help you maintain your sanity.

This is just a way to start. As you progress, hopefully you are getting results and are ready to move on and look up what you want to start doing more of. Everyone will have advice for you on what you should do, when it comes to working out...EVERYONE. YOu can take their suggestions, but ultimately, you need to find out what works for you, what keeps you motivated, what gives you results, and what makes it fun. So take all the information that you can find and hear everyone, but make the decisions according to you. The one thing about doing exercises though, when you are doing them, you need to make sure you are doing them CORRECTLY, proper form, proper motion and the range of that motion, doing exercises incorrectly could hinder your results, but more importantly you could get injured (a book that helped me is the Strength Training Anatomy by Frederick Devalier).
This is how I got started and it became part of my life. Now, it's as second nature as breathing and eating. Are there times where I do not feel like going, ABSOLUTELY. But, I know how it makes me feel in the end and my motivation to start with was my kids. I did not want them to be embarrassed of me since they were so active, and I wanted to do the physical playing and running with them. I did not want to be sitting down and watching them. I wanted to be with them and enjoy being around them. I have 3 children and two of them are already grown. It happened so fast and I do not see them very much lately. But, the memories that I have of racing my son, playing with my daughter in the park and helping them with their sports will last a lifetime. I did not watch them get bigger and stronger, I was with them when it happened. So find your motivation for you.
Hope this helps, and if there is anyone that has any questions, just ask.

Kelly Bowen

I have been working in the Fitness Industry for over 25 years as a certified fitness instructor; personal trainer and yoga instructor. Last summer, I completed two and half years of continuing education courses and study to achieve a Therapeutic Yoga Certification. The Therapeutic Yoga coursework, complemented a vision God has been revealing to me about using my passion for teaching fitness to come alongside people to help them find physical, mental and spiritual healing through exercise. 

I believe God has been guiding me and asking me to facilitate classes that will bring healing of the 6 broken places in the world. Sometimes it is with only one sweet soul sitting in a room with me and sometimes it is in a room full of friends and/or people I have only met a moment or two before class begins. Regardless of where we practice or of who it is, I feel Gods presence and I have seen some amazing personal transformations in the lives of people God has provided the opportunity to share my time with. It's an honor and a blessing to serve in this way. 
But over the past year, I kept feeling like God has been preparing me for something more. I wasn't even sure what that meant until I sat across the table at lunch with my friend, Amanda, a few months ago. She said "I want you to go to Ukraine this summer?"  She told me a story of sitting with the Mission to Ukraine staff last summer and how they wanted to offer yoga to the women they serve through their crisis pregnancy centers. As soon as, she said it I knew. I am the one. This is what God has been preparing me for ... to serve these here I go, way out of my comfort zone to a place I never dreamed of going. I will go with faith. I will go afraid. And I will follow God's lead both near and way far away.  

Brad Schrock

I have been blessed to have a life long relationship with Christ, and other blessings too innumerable to mention. My wife and I have 4 grown children, a successful business, and a couple of years ago we began to feel God nudging us to make a big change. We felt moved to find a different church. God led us to Grace and never looked back. So much so that we now serve every Tuesday in the Care Center Food Pantry and participate in a small group.
My story with fitness began about 14 years ago when I came to grips with the fact that I was 25 pounds overweight and my lifestyle did not include any physical did include a lot of stress, a hectic pace, and a lot of junk food binges. I knew something had to change. My solution came through running. I began slowly, but after a few months I decided to sign up for my first race. It was a great fit right off the bat. Since that time, I have ran 127 races including 73 marathons. I have set 6 running goals that I am in the process of completing:

  • Run 100 marathons (currently at 73)

  • Run a marathon in all 50 states (currently at 42)

  • Run a marathon on all 7 continents (currently at 6)

  • Run each of the 6 World Major marathons (currently at 3 – 2 more schedule this year)

  • Run the Boston Marathon 10 consecutive times (I have completed 11)

  • Run the equivalent of the circumference of the Earth (I have completed 21,186 miles out of 24,901 miles)

My wife Missy participates in half marathons every chance she gets as well. Our running hobby has become as much of a travel hobby and has brought us closer together. We have been blessed to run all over the world in some exotic and wonderful places, and meet some fantastic people too. Over the years running has become a huge part of my life and now Grace Church is becoming a huge part as well. What I want people to know is that it's not about how far, how long, or how fast, it is about starting. The worst thing you could do is set unrealistic goals, which could cause burnout or mean quitting and going back to your previous lifestyle. Running, exercise, and fitness are all completely relative and individual – find what you enjoy and stick with it. Embrace life!


Join a Group

We are in this together! From triathalon-ing to walking, there's something most of us can do! We've created 5 Facebook groups for you to be a part of. Connect with other people who can motivate and encourage you in each challenge.

Your Turn

If you have a story you want to share, send it to us at We want to know: How God is moving in you? How has exercise, food, joy, peace, etc. radically changed the way you live. Don't hold back...people NEED to hear your story!
Share Your Story


Thanks for sharing both of your stories, so inspiring! Can't wait to travel to Ukraine with you Kelly, and see how God honors that specific call in your life!

Posted by Brian on May 9, 2017 @ 11:12 am