Guest Post by Shawn Pearson

While I am knee deep in chocolate bar and caramel candy samples (which seriously, isn’t entirely as fun as it sounds), I’m handing over the reins to my mentor/trainer/friend/family, Shawn. He’s the reverend who runs the youth center in my town (among his other jobs and duties). I happened to wander down there in sixth grade and he hasn’t been able to shake me since. 

I am lucky enough to have him in my life, day after day, meltdown after meltdown, workout after workout. I hope you enjoy his post and I will be back tomorrow. Until then, enjoy! 


I have to admit, I feel a bit like a substitute teacher writing this post.

…and we all know what happens to subs.  So put down the spit wads and don’t even try to tell me that your regular blogger lets you get away with not really paying attention to what she posts.

As someone who has some experience subbing, I know I need to try to find common ground with you…to win your trust…

You like food?  Great.  Me too.  In fact, I eat every single day — sometimes more than once!

You’re interested in fitness?  Excellent.  So am I.  And, while my ever-expanding girth belies the fact I have a Master Trainer certification, I actually help author some of Amanda’s workouts.

You are intrigued by matters of faith?  Perfect.  The “Rev.” I can legally put in front of my name points to my connection to the subject, too.

Food…check.  Fitness…check.  Faith…check.  Look at that, it is fitting we’re all here at this blog.

Let me press my luck…

Might you also find some fascination in words, too?  I mean, after all, you purposely read this blog and its regular author can be quite a wordsmith.  I have a sneaking suspicion words are important to you, too.

As Amanda’s school year is winding to a close and summer is fast-approaching, I have noticed two particular words sneaking into our conversations.



Chances are you can relate.  Whether you’re a student or not, there are just times of life in which we are easily distressed and readily distracted.

Maybe you’re facing finals, too…perhaps you’ve got bills mounting…or you may even be dealing with matters far more difficult and permanent.  The anxiousness and anxiety you feel is clinically known as “distress”.

Or, you may even possibly be worried about summer…how will you keep on-task with your workouts? When will you find the time to prepare nutritious food? Is it possible to keep growing spiritually during a time so often splintered by plentiful activities? If these things are not “distressing” to you, they are at least “distractions”.

Funny thing about words, sometimes we use them without fully considering what they mean.  It isn’t a stretch to say we all probably face distress and distraction regularly.  But, I wonder how many times we actually consider the words…

…if we did, we’d know how to defeat them.

The prefix “dis” means “the absence of”.  For example, “disappear” means something having the absence of an appearance.  “Disagree” means the absence of agreement.  You get the picture.

Now consider “distress”…

It literally means the absence of stress.

Wait.  What?

You wish you could have an absence of stress?

You don’t.  Trust me.  Hear me out…

We must “stress” — to put emphasis or importance upon — things.  It helps us focus.  It allows us to prioritize.  It leads us to achieve.  When you’re overwhelmed and freaking yourself (or others) out, it is the DIS that is getting you.  The absence of emphasizing the proper things is what is causing your meltdowns.

If I am distressed in my life, I need to reconsider what actually needs emphasis.  By placing proper importance on life-giving things, I can avoid detrimental distress.

The same is true about “DIStraction” — “traction” simply means the “pull” of something.  (I won’t bore you with how “Star Wars” and its “tractor beam” messed with the mind of a prepubescent child raised among farms in America’s Dairyland…I’ll admit, I had to look it up to be sure)  A “DIStraction” is merely the absence of the proper pull.

As your days begin to fill with warmer weather, more sunlight, opportunities for entertainment, etc., it becomes easy to let those things which are vital to your life and success lose their “pull” on you.  As soon as those things which are important — food, fitness, faith for example — no longer have a strong “pull” on your time, attention, efforts, etc., we fall prey to “DIStraction”.

What in your life is worthy of emphasis and importance?  STRESS it each moment…proper “stressing” will keep DIStress from negatively impacting you.

What things do you want to have the most “pull” on you?  Don’t weaken your connection to them…as soon as you let go of it, the DIStractions will carry you away.

Okay, for the remainder of class you may talk quietly amongst yourselves…I will give Miss Amanda a good report about you.


  1. […] will make a difference. Those kinds of things will (hopefully) make my training sessions with Shawn this summer a touch more […]

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