I attended a retreat put on by Theology of the Body Institute called TOB1 – Head & Heart Immersion Course this week. It was located in Quarrysville Pennsylvania. But it might as well have been heaven. Because I seriously feel like that’s where I was. Not because of the location itself, although Black Rock Retreat Center is amazing and peaceful. But because of the material that was taught and the experience I had was definitely not of this world.
I think I lost about 2 pounds in tears. These were tears of redemption and joy, tears of sadness and mercy, tears of grace.
It was a literal transformation in my mind and in my heart. It’s very difficult to articulate. Especially when people are asking me, “So how was your retreat?”
The best I can do is what Christopher West, the author of various books on TOB and the leader of this course, suggested to all of us 120 students: “What is Theology of the Body in 5 words?”
“God wants to marry us.”
Unfortunately, this explanation doesn’t suffice. It just gives you a small taste of what the message of TOB is.
“What does it mean God wants to marry us?”
“Is this about heaven?”
“Is this about death?”
“Is this about sex?”
I would say a resounding YES to all of those questions and more.
But I suppose to explain how I discovered TOB, I would have to start at the beginning. But even if I start at the beginning, it would take a book to write it all down. The good part is that I plan to write a book about this. But since that might take more than a year, and I want to get it all out, I plan on blogging about my journey to TOB here. Just as I documented my “Journey to the Stage” in my first figure competition, I plan to blog about my TOB journey as well on this site.
Both of these transformations are ongoing. However, this was the transformation of my heart which has made me see life through new lenses. It’s amazing and wonderful and scary and agonizing. All at the same time. I plan on revealing quite a bit about myself because, you see, for whoever reads this, has to know how this has changed me. And in order to know how it’s changed me you have to know me. As much as you could possibly know about me through my experiences, my childhood, my adulthood, my friendships, my relationships, my family, my everything.
I suppose my goal with these posts will be to introduce TOB to the reader in the hopes that they themselves pick up one of the books and begin to read them and become part of the TOB family.
When I started blogging about my fitness journey, I got a ton of messages from strangers, friends, family and fellow trainers that said I inspired them to workout more, or eat better, or run a 5K, etc. If I start blogging about my TOB life, it’s entirely possible someone could be inspired by my words and have the same life changing experience as myself.