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August Visitor Feature: Cardio Conversion

Story by Tanisha Greenidge
Published 8/6//2014

Although kids, work and just plain ignorance once kept these five members from staying fit, they all finally determined, “No. More. Excuses!” They traded in apology for action and not only improved their own heath, but helped give others more motivation to move.

“I Found Balance in My Life”

Richard Reinhardt, a member at Chesapeake Conference’s Triadelphia church in Columbia, Md., was always active but never considered himself an athlete. That includes his time as a member of the Acro-Aires, a tumbling and stunting team at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md. “I always did well, but not because it came naturally. I learned how to tumble and base [pyramids] mostly on sheer will power,” he says, but notes that it didn’t improve his cardio endurance.

Richard Reinhardt recently finished the Boston Marathon in just over three hours. “I think that qualifying so young was a special gift that allowed me to be more visible and speak about my beliefs with other runners and show that following God doesn’t mean not fulfilling
your dreams,” he says.

Turning Point: It was his wife, Melissa, who inspired him to participate in triathlons. “I knew that I would rather be out there with her than sitting on the sidelines,” he admits. As he worked to join her on the course—improving his swimming and running techniques—his health focus intensified. He credits running further in a shorter time to having the right balance in his life.

“It is easier to listen to God when you don’t have daily distractions getting in the way,” says Reinhardt, who listens to sermon podcasts during long runs. “You need time for worship, time for family and friends, time for work and time for rest.”

Passing it On: His passion led him to create a Facebook group in 2010 called Adventist Athletes, which now claims 30 members who encourage each other. Reinhardt also meets weekly with a running group to train and fellowship. “I envision that there should be a larger community of Adventists encouraging each other with positive feedback on how they can be shining beacons of our health message,” he says. “If we exercise and eat right, then we should shine above others, like Daniel and his friends did.”

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