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Fit To Serve - Robby's Story
By Ayme Mower - December 6, 2011

After his football-playing days came to an end, Robby Boyd believed his athletic career was over. But since appearances can be deceiving, what looked like the death of a widely coveted career path became the birth of a plan. But isn’t that often God’s ‘MO’? After all, even the disciples believed that Jesus’ death marked the end of their aspirations. It wasn’t until after His resurrection and ascension that they began to understand their true purpose. The death of a dream is often the spark of destiny and the birth of leadership. Robby Boyd, a burly, flesh-and-blood, 21st century disciple, is asking questions born only in the heart of a leader.

"How can God use me?’ is the question at the core of true servant-leadership and the conviction that one’s life is not his own. For Robby Boyd, it was his foundational faith that God can use anything that led him to ponder what God wanted to do with his passion for fitness. Inspired to serve after hearing Pastor Miles encourage the church to “Do Something,” Robby made the decision to take responsibility for the fitness ministry, something he does as a servant-leader. In doing so, Robby adopts the vision of the church and makes it his own. “There’s always something you can do,” he says, “What does God want me to do with this? It dawned on me while I was sitting in church. What can I do? I mean no disrespect when I say there are a lot of physically unfit people in church. I saw a way for me to be a blessing to others and fulfill the purpose of the Rock Church, which is to ‘Do Something’.” That something, in this case, is “to improve our physical health so we will possess more physical energy that we can devote to spiritual goals”. The goal of the fitness ministry is for everyone to live a fit, healthy lifestyle in body, soul and spirit.

Robby, an elite athlete and runner, fitness coach and personal trainer, lives by the conviction that his credentials are his lifestyle. He believes in being a role model to the younger generations by ‘walking the walk, not just talking the talk’. Says Robby, “When you’re leading and coaching kids, they need to see that.” His motto, ‘once an athlete, always an athlete,’ is evident in his own lifestyle, an extension of his high school and college football years. Even now he really considers himself a football player who runs, and although Robby is humble about his running accomplishments, his standards are high. From August through December, he runs one half marathon every month. On the heels of this extensive training, he kicks off the New Year by running the Arizona Rock ‘n Roll Marathon held in January. Then in June, he speeds into summer by running the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon, a pace he has kept since 2005. In his own words, “In 2009, I was fortunate to run the Boston Marathon, since it is a qualifying marathon. I give God all the glory.” Robby has since qualified to run the Boston again in 2012.

“My hope is to change my community”

Serving God and others through his time, talent and treasure isn’t a novel idea for Robby. A forerunner in fitness, he already leads a non-profit organization, Fathers for Fitness, with the purpose of inspiring children and adults to lead active and healthy lives. For Robby, having hope for the future that one can change the world begins in his community. “My hope is to change my community. This is a way to give back of my time and talents and to physically change somebody‘s life. Our bodies aren’t ours; they don’t belong to us; they belong to God.”

In his quest to serve, he sees his purpose “to be a servant, to give my time, talent and treasure to help others reach their fitness goals. It makes me humbled and appreciative to have this talent to do that.” Since volunteering to lead, the appreciation people express humbles him. “If it’s one person, or if it’s 15 or 20, I’m going to show up. It’s all about serving selflessly. WE do it all together, and we have a great time.” And the participants agree that when you have a group of people doing it together, you can feed off of each other, and it’s a great workout. Danielle Barrett, a marathon runner, asserts, “There is no fitness class like that anywhere else in San Diego that’s free. And Robby does it for us, which is amazing. People are blown away by that.” She values the class for its excellence in cross-training preparation for her races and for its functional strength training. She also notes that it has motivated her to do more cross -training on her own, which has made a difference in her running.

But the class is not just for experienced runners. It’s important to learn how to do exercise correctly, and Robby caters to his students’ varying fitness levels. From the very experienced to the novices, individuals work at their own ability as he sets a challenging pace. Robby is welcoming of all levels, and no matter where one lands on the fitness ladder, his class provides a comfortable environment. “The atmosphere with Robby is different than any other place. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is because he’s going to show you how to do it,” says Danielle. Because the class is at the Rock, people feel safe, and that draws in a diverse group of people for the purpose of fellowship and ministering to one another. “I feel like God puts such a diverse group together whom I wouldn’t normally meet, and that challenges me spiritually. I’m inspired to do better, and we all inspire each other,” says Danielle.

Robby’s inspiration for servant leadership comes from his relationship with Jesus. “God will hold me accountable for the gifts and talents he blessed me with, plain and simple,” he says. After his football-playing days came to an end, Robby believed his athletic career was over. In reality though, “That was just the beginning for me to be in a position to give back what I was richly blessed with,” says Robby. The adversity and challenge of playing major college football have taught him lessons for which he will be forever grateful. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank God and His servants for those lessons. Now it's my time to be a SERVANT for life!”

The hour long class, every other Saturday, from 9-10 AM has a basic structure that allows participants to know what to expect each week, but the exercises vary, so they’re always learning new techniques. The focus is a full body workout, and a typical class looks much like this.

  • Mile walk at a fast 14 minute pace
  • Dynamic workout - jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, etc.
  • Agility drills for quickness and speed using cones, ladders, speed hurdles, etc.
  • Strength training - squats, planks, weights, medicine ball drills
  • Sprint 8 workouts – 30 second sprints followed by a 90 second recovery (8 reps/sprints)

For more information about the Fitness Ministry, click here »