Suzuka Asahina and the Temple of the Groom

We all have guilty anime pleasures – those series that we’re addicted to, even though we’re ashamed to admit it.  One such series for me is Suzuka, an anime featuring two leads that are kind of terrible people in a show that is uninspired.  Still, I’ve watched it three or four times – one reason being the track and field element.  I never joined track in middle or high school, but always wished I had.

When I first watched Suzuka, especially the first time, I felt incredibly motivated to start running.  So with all this hunger, I…didn’t run one single lap.  Instead, I spent my free time gobbling up anime (I think I was also knee deep in Code Geass at the time).

Suzuka Asahina
Art by HAL

I wish I had started running, though.  Several years have passed, and as is inevitable, my metabolism has caught up with me (not to mention some unexpected health concerns).  And there’s a connection with spirituality, too, in terms of how we care for our bodies:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

– I Corinthians 6:19-20

The verses above actually refer to “sexual immorality,” though they are often used out of context to describe general overall health.  I think the advice is sound, though.  Practically, the stronger we are and the longer we live, the more we have the opportunity to do ministry.

And there’s certainly a motivation to keep our “temples” strong in imagery taken from Sunday School.  We don’t want the Holy Spirit dwelling in hearts that are inhospitable.  A healthy temple (physically as well as spiritually) naturally seems like a nicer swelling for the Almighty than a run-down one.

And so, recently, I have gotten in shape.  I’ve dropped almost 20 pounds and now refer to myself as being “skinny Asian guy weight.”  I don’t think I’ve been this slim since I was a freshman…in high school.  I’ve become a better dad to my kids, a better husband to my wife, and a better son to the Father since I started regularly exercising.

And I wish I could say I was influenced to become healthy by my love of God, or even at least by Suzuka for the silliness of it all.  But in reality, I was encouraged when I found myself quickly losing weight just by experimenting with my caloric intake, and the weight loss took off from there.

But I can say that though the start of this change didn’t have much to do with my walk with the God, the follow-through has.   And of that, I think I can confidently say, God is pleased.


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