If you follow me on social media, you may have discovered that my husband and I are training to hike rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. I’ve had many people ask “what are you doing and why are doing it?” so I thought I would write a post about this grand adventure.

Growing up I was never very athletic. I was the chubby kid in PE who just hung there like a blob as the coach yelled at me to climb the rope. No matter how hard I tried I simply could not get up that rope! Nor could I run very fast or far. I tried many sports but failed miserably at all of them. I am grateful that I did try because those years were very humbling. When we fail we have two options:  we can receive a lie that we are no good OR we can learn from our failures and use it to catapult us into other things that God has called us to pursue.

I did both. After many failed attempts at being an athlete, I received the lie that I wasn’t born with it, so I quit. I quit playing sports and exercising. I decided it wasn’t for me so no need to waste my time or energy. I did begin to exercise again in high school when I realized you could burn a few calories and trim up from physical activity. But even then, I did not enjoy it. It was punishment for what I had eaten the night before. It was a have to, not a get to. 

I lived many years feeling this way about exercise. I even studied exercise in college and became a group fitness instructor. But after having kids I was too exhausted to keep abusing my body. I was tired and the only way I could keep exercising was if I found greater purpose and joy in the process. I was about to quit the fitness industry when I met Alisa Keeton, founder of a non-profit ministry called Revelation Wellness. After much prayer and research, God opened doors for me to become a Revelation Wellness instructor. That decision was one that forever changed my life. I did not just learn how to teach fitness (I already knew that) but instead, I learned there can actually be freedom in fitness. Fitness was and is God’s idea but somewhere along the way our world has made it an idol.

Since this mindset shift, I have run Spartans, marathons and other physical events that I never dreamed I would accomplish. I may not be the fastest or strongest, but by the grace of God, I have done things that I never dreamed were possible.

Every year, Revelation Wellness does an event called Rim to Him. It is their once a year fundraiser where they take a group of hikers rim to rim on the Grand Canyon. My husband and I are thrilled to be participating this year for two reasons:

  1. We have seen the fruit in my life from being a part of Revelation Wellness and we want to continue to see this ministry grow and reach more people. Thus we have committed to raising $2500 for the ministry as a part of our hiking training.
  2. We know we were made for hard things. My story is that I’m not an athlete. But God loves to use the underdogs and flex His muscles. In my own strength, I will never make it out of the canyon. But with God, all things are possible. 

How can you help as we train for this hike and raise funds for Revelation Wellness?  

  1. PRAY for us. Many times I see this listed as the last thing you can do to support a mission. I believe prayer is the most powerful and effective gift we can receive. Pray for our health. Pray for our training. We are flat landers so properly training to hike the Grand Canyon has been challenging. Pray for the finances to come in that will support not only the fundraiser but also our travel expenses. Pray for peace in the process. Pray for joy as we hike the Grand Canyon, rim to rim on Friday, September 29th.
  2. PURCHASE the Renewed Devotional. The devotional & workout plan is temporarily on sale for ONLY $15 and 100% of the proceeds are going to our fundraiser for Revelation Wellness.
  3. PURCHASE a Renewed shirt or tank. Again, 100% of the proceeds go directly to Revelation Wellness. Click HERE for design 1 and HERE for design 2. (multiple styles & color options available)

    Click this image for this design

    Click this image to purchase this design

  4. DONATE. You can make a tax-deductible donation of any amount on our FirstGiving page HERE.

Please follow me on Instagram (@rachaeljgilbert & @firstfruitfitness) to stay up to date with our training. Last weekend I did 250 flights of stairs in a hospital to reach my elevation goals!

We appreciate your prayers & support!


Matt & Rachael

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