The chapel, the gym and the new year

There is certainly a redundant cyclical pattern in one’s journey through the years. Each year has an underlying repetitive and unchanging design, despite our varied goals, plans, activities and resolutions. The monotony has something to do with certain consistent annual events and holidays, especially towards the end of the year, which bear upon the following year also. As we close our yearly journey with Christmas, the festive celebrations give rise to a sense of change and newness - new beginning, new goals and new resolutions.

Now if we narrow our human experience down to perhaps the most basic dichotomy of the spiritual and the physical, then there are no two places in which the new year becomes more evident than at the chapel and in the gym respectively. In the beginning of the year, these two places are noticeably more crowded; the correlation is both strong and convincing.

The gym is always packed during the first few months. As the year progresses, more often than not, the crowd shrinks back to its usual size of mostly habitues and old-timers. The reason for the fewer numbers may have to do with the fact that either people have met their fitness/health goals (yeah right!), or have just quit altogether, until the following new year when a similar stampede percolates through the same gym doors again.

The sinuous (no pun intended) pattern is very similar to that found in chapels/churches also. During the first few months the congregation swells only to dwindle during the latter part of the year.

And me?  Well I try to be consistent going to both chapel and gym throughout the year. I understand that I still have a lot to improve on especially the spiritual side, hence more emphasis on the chapel than gym. But the two - temporal/physical and spiritual - at least in my Church, go hand in hand. Put simply, any aberration, abuse and neglect of the physical can and will have an impact on the spiritual as well. Some may disagree but it is a sublime, if not a sacrosanct principle. The objective, I believe, is for a more balanced and healthy individual.

In fact in my Church, the emphasis on both the physical and spiritual is reflected in the chapel complex which has a chapel proper and also a “gym” where basketball and volleyball are played. Other cultural, physical fitness activities and exercises like aerobics, zumba, hot hula - you name it - are also held in the chapel gym.

So in this new year, it’s back to the basics - the emphasis is on the chapel and the gym.  Truth is that we need good health (temporal and spiritual) first and foremost before we can pursue and accomplish most other things including our resolutions for the new year.
Ia maguia le kausaga fou ia ke oukou, e sau le fuaka ma loga lou, ia sao fo'i ma uli le folauga i kaimi sousou.  Koaga i le chapel ma le gym ae aua le alu ma mou!  LOL!!!


  1. Malo lava! Manuia le tausaga fou. I really enjoyed reading this post about our spiritual and physical health. Manaia tele manatu faaalia. I was just thinking about going to the gym next week when your post came up so I take it as a sign from a higher power that I'm going to start back and as you said 'koaga i le chapel ma le gym ae aua le alu ma mou'lol. Hope you have a great weekend and a year full of excellent physical and spiritual health : )

  2. ReaderWriter, faafetai lava mo comments! Ia manuia foi taumafaiga i sini ma faamoemoega mo le tausaga fou.