I walked into a room of guys, some I knew some I didn’t. Some young, early 20’s, some older, early 60’s. Some in shape, some out of shape. White guys, black guys, Hispanic guys, all sorts of guys. But here I was at an indoor soccer field with a bunch of Christian guys. I was admittedly nervous, I had no idea what I was in for. A few weeks earlier there was a call to all men in the church to show up at midnight at this place for Fight Club. So here I was, at midnight, at an indoor soccer field, at midnight with a bunch of guys all wondering what was Fight Club.
I’m not going to give away too many fight club secrets, let’s just say there was some physical challenges I was not prepared for. After completing the first leg of challenges I was still confused about why I was there. Then it all became clear, Nehemiah 4:14 – “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” We were all there to FIGHT, at first I thought maybe each other, but then I realized we were fighting for something much greater than us. We were going to fight to be better men, better husbands, better fathers and most importantly, better Christians.
After a pep rally from Pastor Lonnie Snell and Fight Club guru Jeremy Furniss, we got into our squads. The squads were made up of 6 to 8 guys with a squad leader. Our squad leader was Jared Moore, aka Koala, a longtime member of New Life Chapel, father, husband, friend, rugby coach, business man and Christian. The rest of the night was team challenges, getting to know one another and a lot of physical activity. At first I thought the goal was to physically exhaust us, but it was more than that. It was an illustration to the point, your mind will give up before your body will give up. It was not an exercise in physically toughness but in mental toughness. At a certain point in the evening I started not feeling well. I started to become clammy, cold and sweaty. I could feel my blood pressure rise, between the physical activity, my nerves and the energy drink I consumed before arriving, I was in trouble. I sat in the restroom with my head in my hands trying to calm myself down. The voices in my head said “You’re not cut out for this” “This is not who you are, you’re not one of these guys” “Drop out, you’ll never make it 10 weeks”. After a few minutes I started feeling better. I never told anyone that night about being sick. I pushed through, modified my physical to match my mental and finished the night strong.
At the end of the night I still had no clue what I had signed up for, but I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Fight Club, a bunch of guys fighting for their lives. My wife was waiting up for me when I got home around 2am. She asked me how it was, my reply was “I don’t know”. But the thing I did know was I needed to walk through Fight Club not by sight but by faith. The unseen was real, I had to trust in the lord and he would see me through this. I
By that Sunday when we got our weekly challenges our squad was down to 6 members. The rules and demands of Fight Club are not for the faint of heart. Ringing the bell, tapping out, striking out, giving up, throwing in the towel was all too real. But we didn’t judge those who didn’t make it, we prayed and tried to lift them up. By the end of the first week of challenges our squad was down to 5. Then a few weeks after that our squad was down to 4. In our weekly meetings we prayed for those guys who rang the bell or stuck out, and we still do.
Each week the challenges become more intense. Reading, journaling, praying, doing physical challenges that maxed out your mental strength as well as our physical strength. Nutrition challenges that made you think about how we treat our bodies and where we get our nourishment from. We drank from fire hydrants for 10 weeks. Our minds, bodies, relationships, they all changed. They got stronger, we were fighting every single week, some weeks we fell short, but that was ok, we all fall short, we only had to remember Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. That Jesus suffered, endured and died for us so we wouldn’t fall short in the eyes of God. We prayed more than ever, we shared more than ever, we became better every day.
I have to admit, I had 2 strikes and I was on the brink of my 3rd. God showed grace on me more than a few times. So did my squad leader, giving me a few more days to complete a challenge due to a physical injury. But I pushed through it, my mental toughness overcame my physical inabilities.
During our 10 weeks of Fight Club I made connections to men that I would have never had the opportunity to fellowship with otherwise. On Father’s Day we graduated from New Life Chapels first class of Fight Club. We stood on stage together, better Christians than ever. We listened to squad leaders preach that day about Fight Club principles. We recognized a gentleman who struck out but didn’t give up the fight. A true embodiment of Fight Club, a man who in failure taught us all how to be better Christians by never giving up.
Several months after the end of Fight Club, guru Jeremy Furniss asked me to be a squad leader in the next chapter. It was my privilege to except. A full cup cannot be filled any more unless emptied into another cup. I look forward to writing about chapter 2 of Fight Club, and continuing to fight the good fight.