Okay, I understand that to some this may be a little thing. But to me it is HUGE. And the way I see it, sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference in our lives. For years I have struggled with the idea of exercising. It never appealed to me. (As I was told a few years ago “Nobody wants to workout but they do it anyway.” – uh, okay, not me…) Only once before have I had a gym membership. The year was 2003 or 2004. I can’t really remember- mainly because I only went to the gym 2 or 3 times over that one-year membership period. The thought of expending extra energy and sweating while doing it was a complete turn-off. Why, I could be napping, reading a good book, eating a Chipotle burrito bowl or any number of other activities! Granted, I have my weeks, and sometimes months, of dedication when preparing for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk. But if I do actually train for the 60 mile trek, once it is over I go right back to the couch. Good or bad – I embrace that slothfulness is the state of being I’m most comfortable with. Oh, and we all remember my failed attempt at unleashing my inner stripper. Needless to say, my knee still whines in pain every now and then, reminding me that before I try that again, a certain level of physical fitness and coordination will be a non-negotiable requirement.
But here I am, 1 month into becoming a “gym rat”. I am amazed at the change I’ve undertaken. And based upon the reaction of some of my friends and family members, you are too. This change I’m referring to is probably 5% physical and 95% mental. It has been a full month and I’ve remained committed to going to the gym at least 4 times a week (well one week was only 3 days at the gym and one day at home doing a 30-minute cardio walking video, but that still counts!). What is this attributed to? Only God! The fact that I desire to spend an hour sweating in front of strangers and exposing my muscles to positions and weights they’ve never felt before is nothing short of a miracle. I don’t take this change in thinking lightly. For, it took years of gentle nudging and failed attempts by those who love me to get me here. Some were frustrated at my ambivalence to exercise while others just accepted that I wasn’t going to care.
In 2013, I called out on my vision board that I wanted to establish a healthy lifestyle. But, it never quite happened. Then, in late summer/early fall the construction on the LA Fitness started in my neighborhood. I felt like God was building a gym just for me!!! Oh, great. Now I wouldn’t have any excuses. I was one of the people that signed up during the pre-sale and was super excited. For about 2 minutes… Grand opening came and went, and I was still avoiding the facility and watching my monthly membership dues go down the drain.
|My 2013 Vision Board. Notice “Body Beautiful” in the upper right quadrant.|
During the final weeks of my pre-gym days, one evening I returned from my Queen Esther class, and enjoyed a phone call from a good friend that I refer to as “The President of the Krystal Speed Fan Club”. If ever there’s anything I am contemplating doing, he is always there telling me that I can do it and do it well. Anyways, I shared with him that in class we were talking about Israel’s sin cycle. I shared that during our small group discussion on how this cycle is manifested in each individual’s life, I likened it to my fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. As our conversation progressed I was challenged to break the cycle. I believe this was a defining moment in helping me internalize what needed to be done. It was truly a blessing to have God speak through this person to tell me what I already knew and desperately needed to hear reinforced.
On December 30th I was talking with one of my accountability partners. She was sharing her fitness routine and goals. As we ended the conversation in prayer, I was motivated to ask one simple thing from God “Please give me the kick in the butt I need to get in the gym”. Well, about 3 minutes after we hung up, I reluctantly rolled out of bed, put on my hot pink Nikes and tentatively drove the 0.5 miles to my new gym. When I entered, I was greeted with a smile. I was offered a free session with a trainer. I hesitated. See, I had already used my complimentary session during the October pre-sale and that guy got me good. When I say he worked me out, I mean he WORKED ME OUT! I didn’t want to take advantage of the system and get a 2nd free session but, I figured if they were offering, I was taking.
So, he walked me back to an available trainer. And who do I end up sitting in front of? Gary. The guy I’d had my free session with before. We exchanged the obligatory hellos. He recalled meeting me before but couldn’t place me until a few minutes into the conversation when my sarcasm and facial expressions gave me away. “Oh, now I remember you,” was his response. I said, “Yeah, I’m the girl that looks at you like you’re crazy when you give me these exercises to do.” And that’s how our personal training sessions began. I am very thankful to God for allowing me to have a trainer that knows exactly how to motivate me (basically telling me to suck it up because I can do it).
I’m completely excited about this 180 degree change in my attitude and habits. I wake up in the morning excited about the day’s fitness routine (well, usually). I actually like the feeling of sweat dripping down my forehead now. I also enjoy seeing other gym-goers actively reaching for their dreams and goals of a healthier version of themselves. Their motivation is contagious and helps me. And then, the staff. I feel like you’ve gotta be a special person to effectively motivate people to willingly endure pain for the hope of a better future. To be good at that, I think that is a gift. I’m thankful for the way that they’ve allowed themselves to be used to heal, restore and inspire people.
One month into it and I am committed to staying with it. Hey, after doing something for 21 days it becomes habit right? Ultimately, God is my strength. As Paul shares with us in II Corinthians 12:9, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ ”. I’m believing that His sufficient grace, that empowers and strengthens, will help me to remain true to this. I also believe that a strong support system is needed. As I endeavor to live a healthy and fit lifestyle I need your help. Please continue to share this journey with me. Check-in with me. Keep me accountable. Tell me your fitness goals so I can also harass you about whether you’re keeping up with them or not. And when we can, let’s do something fitness-related together. Also, I’m on Pinterest so share healthy recipes, exercise routines and anything else that relates to becoming a healthier version of ourselves. For, I’m being reminded, when we surrender ourselves to the things of God (and yes, taking good care of your temple is one of those things) the pain of transformation purifies and brings us one step closer to the person we’ve been called to be.