Originally published June, 2013, as part of The Athlete’s New Testament, which can be purchased via the Faith Rx’d Store. Guido owns and coaches at Peak360 CrossFit in Miami, co-founded and programs the Wodapalooza fitness festival, and is the Head Coach of Faith Rx’d Iron Sharpens Iron weekend training events.
I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of nine, but I drifted quite a bit in high school. My mom was a single parent trying to raise two boys on her own and with no father figure in the house I began to rebel at an early age. By 15 I was involved with a lot of things that led me astray from God: the wrong crowd, illegal substances, and activities that we all hope our children never get involved in.
Soon I was in a downward spiral-my dreams of playing college football were disappearing and my relationship with my mother was deteriorating. Something had to change. A love for football motivated me to get my act together, but I needed more than motivation. I needed direction. I re-established a relationship with God by the age of 17 and made a 180-degree change for the better. Grades went up, I became captain of my football team and earned a scholarship to play football at Benedictine College.
God has always played a role in my preparation and performance in sports. In college I started praying before every workout and every practice, including things like “I offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to you, that this may be my spiritual act of worship” based on Romans 12:1. Praying like this helps me put things into perspective quickly, and reminds me I have a purpose in my life, my training, and my competition: to glorify God. Living and competing for any other purpose will eventually seem empty.
As a competitive CrossFit athlete, the lifestyle is challenging and I am more dependent on God than ever. In competition there have been several instances, specifically at the 2012 Regionals where my relationship with God carried me through the competition. I remember praying several Bible verses to keep me focused.
Everyday presents a different struggle. Whether it’s a lack of motivation to train, a business deal gone wrong, a misunderstanding at home, or a nagging injury, there will always be obstacles and adversities. But I believe God allows these things into our lives for a reason. Our job is to create the opportunity out of the obstacle and to let the adversity build us up. I still have my ups and downs, in CrossFit and in life, but I try to keep Christ at the center of it all and I praise Him for saving me.