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Faith and Fitness: The Meaning Behind Exalt

Posted on March 05 2019

Faith and Fitness: The Meaning Behind Exalt

Exalt Fit is guided by the core belief that athletes can become their best selves through a combination of fitness and faith. Many philosophers, religious leaders, authors, and sports figures before us have stressed the importance of one or the other, but we believe the Five Pillars of Exalt combine concepts of physical and spiritual well-being in ways few have before.

 Sure, plenty of athletes thank God on game day, and plenty of churches organize their own recreational sports leagues. But how often is the relationship between fitness and faith truly explored to its fullest potential? One of our mottoes is “Fitness and Faith: Woven Together,” and we take that combination very seriously! We want to open athletes’ minds to the fact that faith can enrich their lives inside and outside of competition. And we want faithful followers of God to know that, despite how it can be portrayed in popular culture, fitness isn’t about vanity.

In order to convey what Exalt truly means to us and our family, what better source of inspiration than the Bible -- the original Word of God? Though fitness might not immediately come to mind when you’re thinking of topics covered in the Bible, we take our faith very seriously, always making sure God’s word is at the center of our mission. So let’s explore the heart and soul of Exalt through the lens of our favorite Bible verses.

Part I: Fitness and Discipline

Hebrews 12:11-12 - For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees.

One key similarity between the fitness journey and the faith journey is that neither takes place on an easy path. You can’t expect to have a muscular, fit body after one day at the gym, and you can’t expect to cultivate a perfect relationship with God after after one visit to church.

Building up your fitness and your faith is a true commitment. When it comes to building a strong, healthy body that’s ready to thrive in athletic competition, you have to be willing to take it slow. Fitness comes to you over time. You’re going to contend with injuries, fatigue, and just plain rough days. If your focus is on a particular sport, don’t expect to rise to the top of your field in an instant.

The discipline required to be a great athlete is going to cause some painful moments on your journey, but that’s why Determination and Perseverance are two of Exalt Fit’s Five Pillars. We know that by providing faithful athletes with high-quality clothing that performs just as much as it inspires, we can help you persevere through the tough times and build a righteous self-discipline that will prepare you to conquer any challenge.

Just as with fitness, building a strong faith requires discipline, too. A solid faith foundation requires diligent study of the Bible and constant mindfulness of how you can be a Christ-like example to others when you’re out in the world. Everybody sins; there will be moments when you stumble and fall short of your goals. But if you recognize the fact that a disciplined attitude will lead to physical and spiritual rewards over time, you can power through life’s challenges with a firm resolve and with your head held high.

The Endure Perseverance Tank features the perfect message for yourself and others. It sends a signal to your competition that you’re not going to give up without a fight, and it’s a reminder to you that God can help you persevere through anything.

1 Peter 3:3-4 - Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

At Exalt Fit, clothing is about a lot more than just vanity and looking good. Sure, we take pride in our designs, but we also believe sharp looks without a greater purpose fail to serve our faith-based mission. That’s why we take time to craft and convey deeper spiritual meanings to all our pieces.

When you wear a piece of our clothing -- whether it’s a tank top, sweatshirt, or anything in between -- we want you to feel the same inspiration our designers felt while making it. Because the true beauty of clothing is not external; it comes from the comfort, confidence, and faith you feel when you put it on.

Isaiah 43:1-3 - Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

God is always with us, even if we sometimes fall short in giving Him the credit we should. We at ExaltFit believe athletes of faith and the faith community at large are better off when God is at the front of their minds. Remember that each one of God’s followers has a personal relationship with Him.

We can’t expect God to bestow blessings upon us unless we make that relationship a two-way street. We must pray to God, praise Him, and make every effort to live as Christ commands us to. Once we reach that point in our lives, we will realize God is always by our side, ready to guide us through the most treacherous rivers, flames, and mountains (literal or figurative!)

Our “Faith Over Fear” apparel series showcases a mindset we believe is indispensable for those who are in pursuit of athletic success. Whether you need to stay warm in a “Faith > Fear” hoodie or stay dry in a “Stay Humble” athletic tee, you’ll get a constant reminder of Biblical wisdom than can propel you toward the finish line.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Fitness is a great way to glorify God with your body. God has given us each unique human bodies that are capable of achieving amazing things. When we work out in the gym or train for competition, we are expressing our gratefulness for this gift and truly making the most of it. Furthermore, each time you train your body and make it stronger, you’re amplifying God’s gift to you!

We design Exalt Fit clothing so that it will motivate you to train more and compete harder. It feels good to get out there and exercise when you’re wearing clothing that looks great, fits comfortably, and fortifies your faith. One of Exalt Fit’s Five Pillars is Believe, and our clothing is carefully made to help you believe in yourself as well as the higher purpose you have been given.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

As athletes, we always want to focus on what we do best. If we can glide along effortlessly on ice skates, we want to specialize in hockey. If we’re not the fastest on our feet, we focus on, say, weightlifting instead. But the Bible tells us to embrace weakness, and this serves us well for a variety of reasons.

It might sound like a cliche, but it really is true that difficult experiences make us stronger. As athletes, we want to avoid defeats and failures as much as we can. But failures and defeats are inevitable, so when we come up against them, it’s crucial that we approach adversity in the right way. Whenever we fail to achieve our goals, we must not change course or give up. Failures are opportunities for us to call upon God’s strength and to better prepare ourselves for future challenges.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see

We’ve talked a lot about trusting in the strength of God to buoy you during trying times and compel you forward. But what about the times when it feels like He just isn’t there for you? After all, there is no physical manifestation of God we can rely on when times are really tough. But just as we have to believe in ourselves as athletes even when good results aren’t coming our way, we have to trust that God is behind us even when we don’t feel His presence. When we experience those moments of doubt, the problem is we’re just not looking for God in the right places.

The Bible tells us quite directly that God is always with us as believers. Part of the reason we created the Exalt Fit brand was to remind faithful athletes like you that God is always with you, and that you should call upon His strength when your own reserves are running dry. One of the cool things about the Exalt brand is that we’ve customized this message in a variety of ways to match your personal style in aesthetic. No matter how you choose to spread God’s word in your life or which Bible verses most resonate with you, we have apparel that will provide inspiration just the way you want it.

Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Another characteristic that faith, fitness, and athletics share is how they all require you to block out the extraneous commotion that’s happening around you. If you’re running a marathon and leading the pack, you have to block those approaching footsteps from your mind. If you’re standing at the plate looking to send the ball soaring into the upper deck, you can’t worry about the thousands of screaming fans that surround you. Successfully achieving your goals in athletics and fitness means filtering out everything until it’s just you, your goal, and nothing else.

Similarly, your faith relationship is about you, God, and nothing else. Of course, we interact with people in the world every day, and loving our neighbors is extremely important to maintaining a strong relationship with God. But at its core, your relationship with Him is one-on-one. Many people will try to distract you from living a Christian life, whether they’re merely concerned with worldly pursuits or actively driving you away from your faith. No matter what else is going on around you, no matter how many outside influences are trying to lead you off the righteous path, you must keep your focus on God.

We know there are countless brands of secular athletic clothing on the market, so our goal is to provide something different that allows you to keep your focus on your faith. Fashion influences all aspects of culture, and the cultural signals the modern-day clothing industry sends us often clash with our faith. At Exalt, we want your clothing to support you in your faith journey, and that’s exactly why our customers appreciate us so much.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 - Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

All the runners run, but only one receives the prize. The Bible encourages us to run with all the strength, courage, and conviction required to come in first place. And just as we run with purpose in competition, we should do so in our daily lives as well. We cannot preach the Gospel of Christ without living in a Christlike way ourselves.

 But what happens to all those athletes who run the race without winning? Part of our mission at Exalt Fit is to provide support for those athletes so that they may reach their goal in the future. But we also know that not every athlete can win Olympic gold or lift a championship trophy in their favorite sport. The above passage affirms our belief that you can be a winner even if you don’t score the gold or play on the championship team. Exalt clothing is here to remind you that living a life of faith is the ultimate reward.  

Part II: Stress and Anxiety

Philippians 4:6 - Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do you often feel like your mind is overrun with stress and anxiety? Do you feel constant pulls from different directions of your life that are keeping you from focusing on the truly important things? If so, you really need to remember that God supports you and can guide you safely through all of the challenges of fitness, faith, and more. If you pray to God and give him thanks, you will feel the joy and comfort of his eternal protection.

Matthew 6:25-27 - Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Continuing on the theme of stress and anxiety, we’re often stressed out because we’re so worried about the day-to-day grind instead of the big picture. In the passage above, of course what we choose to eat and drink is an important decision that affects our fitness, health, and quality of life. But in many ways, those choices are fleeting. Eating one salad is not going to keep us healthy for life. And indulging in a decadent dessert is a temporary pleasure that fades almost as soon as you’ve taken the last bite.

This passage is not telling us that our food and drink habits are unimportant, nor that we can expect God to make all the right for us without putting in any effort ourselves. Instead, it’s telling us not to get so caught up in routine tasks when our higher calling of fitness and faith gives us so much to work toward and achieve. That’s a philosophy we keep close to our hearts at Exalt Fit, and it’s reflected in everything we do with our brand.

Patience, Persistence, and Perseverance are all tools in your faith toolbox that you can use to overcome whatever’s making you anxious or stressing you out. We want each article of clothing we sell to send you strong messages of encouragement that will give you just the right amount of juice you need to cross the finish line first. We’re particularly proud of this women’s tank and the positive effect it’s had on female athletes across a range of sports.

Peter 5:7-10 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

This passage reminds us of the dangers that await us should we fail to keep our worldly stress and anxiety in check. If we find ourselves feeling weak and forgetting to call upon God during our most difficult moments, Satan will seize the opportunity to tempt us, and possibly lead us astray from our path of faith.

 

We know about the temptations that athletes face: performance-enhancing drugs, cheating, and an athletic culture that often prioritizes vanity over moral values. One of our goals is to help athletes resist temptation and stay on a Godly trajectory. And there’s plenty of reason for us and our athletes to be hopeful on this front. The passage above is not about fire and brimstone, because it provides hope that, through the grace of God, we can be strong, firm and steadfast in our faith.

Part III: Faith, Strength and Health

2 Peter 1:5-6 - For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.

This passage illustrates one of the reasons why faith and fitness go together so well, and why we feel the Exalt Fit brand is so important. Faith in God is a necessary first step in a meaningfully spiritual life, but the crucial next step is to turn it into Active Faith! Whether you’re active in fitness, active in your church, or active in giving back to your community, pursuing more virtue, knowledge, and self-control -- and then sharing those gifts with the world -- is how your faith can truly inspire others.

Psalm 27: 1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.

We’ll keep this one short and sweet: never fear when God is on your side! Fearlessness has guided Exalt Fit throughout its existence, and we want to pass that fearlessness on to you through high-performing clothing that inspires!

John 14:26-27, But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

“I do not give to you as the world gives” - let’s dive deep into this line and see how it factors into your faith and fitness journey. How are God’s gifts to you different than the world’s gift? At Exalt, we believe they are more permanent and more meaningful. While our friends, our careers, and our opportunities come and go throughout our lives, God’s presence is consistent and powerful. Our clothing aims to remind you of God’s power and loyalty so that you can focus on the real reward of life without getting distracted by small, glittering prizes.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Your body is a temple! As an athlete of faith, you’ve probably heard this many times, but have you ever stopped to think about what it really means and how it relates to your life?

When people refer to their body as a temple, they are often referring to the fact that they don’t want to “desecrate” it with alcohol, drugs, or tattoos. But how does the metaphor of the body as a temple relate to fitness? Each time you exercise, compete in a sporting event, or eat a healthy meal, you’re strengthening the foundation of your temple. The more you maintain your fitness and nurture your body through a proper diet and a good sleep schedule, the more you’ll be able to achieve as an athlete. We want to motivate you to achieve by making fitness fun and exciting.

Isaiah 40:28-31 - Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Oftentimes during your fitness routine, you probably feel that faintness and weariness creeping in! But just because you get tired sometimes and need to take a break doesn’t mean God’s going to take a break from you!

It can be hard for us to conceive of just how great His power truly is, because we’re human and have never experienced anything other than being human. But God never sleeps on the job when you need him the most. The inspirational messages on phrases on our clothing make a point to remind you of that specific fact. Strength is one of our Five Pillars, and even though your physical strength is finite, your spiritual strength is boundless when you entrust it to God!

Isaiah 40:29-31 - He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Many of the athletes on the Exalt team are young people. It’s common for young athletes to believe they’re invincible, and some young athletes don’t take care of their bodies in an ideal way because they believe their youth will carry them through. That’s not the case! As the above verse says, people of all ages must deal with the ill effects of fatigue. The true source of strength is an athlete is not the athlete’s age, but the athlete’s relationship with God.  

We hope this tour through some of our favorite Bible verses has helped you to understand how God’s word inspires everything we do at Exalt Fit. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exhorts us to do His work each day, and we want to pass that motivation on to each and every one of our customers.

Click here to browse our inspirational selection of athletic wear and learn more about the Five Pillars -- Strength, Believe, Determination, Perseverance and Faith -- that stand strong to hold us together as a team. We’re glad you’ve taken the time to understand who we are, and we hope you’ll let us support you on your road to athletic greatness!

 

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