I Surprised Even Myself Today. . .

First Step is the Hardest

 

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-30

 

Today began with several firsts for me.  I fell into a rut a little more than a year ago, and my motivation to eat right and stay active kind of went down the drain.  This week I’ve been working on my motivation.  The past two days, though, I did nothing to stay active.  I was so tired that I just came home and did the absolute necessities and then crashed.

My goal was to sleep in today since it’s something I just don’t get to do.  I woke up a little before 8 and felt rested and refreshed even though I didn’t get to sleep until around 1:30 AM.  Yes that is sleeping in for me.

The first thing I did that surprised even me was that I didn’t sit in bed and turn the tv on.  I got up. . . and. . . I ran!  I know some of you enjoy it.  I know some of you are eager to do it and may even get in a bad mood if you miss a day of it.  But for me, I absolutely hate running.  It’s not fun, and I can’t figure out how to breathe, and my head feels like it’s going to explode, and I just don’t like it.  However, I can feel that it works every part of my body, and I’m able to set goals for myself, and it’s actually the one and only type of exercise I do that makes me  feel like I’ve accomplished something every time I do it.

My goal is always 3  miles, and I compete against myself – the shortest time I’ve run it before.  I haven’t run since 1 time in January, and that was the first time I ran since February LAST year!  My goal was just not to go over my longest time.  🙂

At a half mile, I almost gave up because for the first time ever in my exercising life, I was about to vomit.  Too hot? I don’t know.  Heart rate too high? I don’t know.  I decided to walk and if it was going to happen it was going to happen, but I was going to keep going anyway.

WHAT?!?!  Let me just say, if you know me at any capacity, you know I’m a complainer when I’m not comfortable.  The fact that I changed my thinking from I’m stopping 5 minutes in because I’m about to be sick to I’m going to be sick right here in the bushes, and then I’m going to keep going is just not normal for me.

Luckily I hadn’t eaten yet, so I was able to control it and didn’t physically get sick.  I picked up my pace and started running again.  I did have a moment around 1.5 miles where I started feeling it again, but I pushed through.  However, I was ready to stop when I hit 2 miles, but I still hadn’t made it back home.  My new goal was 2.5 miles and then jump in the pool fully clothed because it was too darn hot.

I hit 2.5 miles, but I was at 33 minutes. I don’t know if it’s my OCD, and 33 minutes didn’t work for me, or if it was my competitive nature, but something sent an extra burst of determination through me.  I knew when I ran my very first 5K several years ago, I hit 37 minutes.  I told myself it’s just a half a mile more, and surely I could do that in under 40 minutes.  I would not hit 40 minutes.  I ran as fast as my hurting, tired legs would allow me, and then I just knew it.  I knew I was going to finally be sick, but I would not stop before reaching 3 miles, and I would not hit the 40 minute mark.  I’ve never taken 40 minutes, and I wasn’t about to start now.  I was at 2.95 miles and somewhere above 38 minutes.  My eyes watered down my cheeks from controlling my stomach, but I reached 3 miles, and I did it under 40 minutes!

Oh, and I did not get sick!  Yes, this was my slowest time by far, and honestly I’m kicking myself for not going ahead and running the next 10th of a mile to hit the 5K, but I’m so proud of myself for pushing so hard and accomplishing what I originally wanted to accomplish in the first place.  I didn’t do it for anyone.  I didn’t do it for a race.  I did it for me.  I prayed.  I know it sounds crazy, but I prayed at the half mile when I felt sick, and I prayed at that 2.5 mile and again when I was so close to 3 miles but didn’t know if I could do it.

God did not have to allow me to finish what I had set in my head to do, but he did.  God doesn’t want us to just come to him when we need something, and he doesn’t want us to just talk to him about “serious matters.”  God wants to be our friend.  I told him what my goal was.  I talked to him about wanting to stop when I felt sick and again when my lungs hurt and again when my legs were tired.  He didn’t let me quit.  Instead, he told me, “No.  You’re not stopping when you just started.  You can do this.  Keep going.  You can do it!”  And I did.  He told me at 2.5 miles, “It’s just a half mile more.  You have 7 minutes, you can do it!”

Understand that God cares about the little things and wants you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  It doesn’t necessarily have to mean in an exercise but in life.  Push yourself.  Talk to him.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).  That doesn’t mean you have to do everything right and perfect in order to “delight” yourself in him.  It means spend time with him, talk to him, love on him, and let him love on you.  Just like when you spend time with your friends, even when you two are doing nothing, that’s what God wants.  You enjoy spending time with friends; that’s delight, and spending time with God brings him delight.

You aren’t going to get everything you ask for, but God will do simple little things for you to show you he loves that you’ve been spending time with him.  Talk to him about the desires of your heart.  See what he does for you.  See if you might surprise yourself today.

 

 

Reaching My Goal!!!

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With the new addition of Fit Friday on my site, I’ve announced to all of you that my first goal of exercising is to run a 5K.  Thank you to everyone who has left encouraging messages to me about reaching that goal, and I can’t believe how quickly I’ve improved in my running.  On December 15, just 1 month and 1 week ago, I struggled to run 1.25 miles in 20 minutes on an elliptical.  I wouldn’t have even accomplished that if it weren’t for Eric at Fitness 2000 in Keller (Thank you, Eric).  Today, I ran outside in some insanely crazy wind (20-25 mph and no trees around to block it), and I’m so excited to say I ran 3.13 miles (just a tad bit more than 5K) in 37 minutes!!!!

Yes, I set 5K as my goal (with a race next month), but I have to admit I couldn’t see myself getting there.  I really had to push myself.  Even today I wanted to stop around 1.25 miles, but I didn’t, and I feel such a sense of  accomplishment since I pressed on through my moment of weakness.

If I can do this, then I know without a doubt that you absolutely can reach your particular goal, too.  Determination and perseverance through those times where you want to stop are so important.  Whatever goal you have for yourself right now, whether it has anything to do with exercise or not, you can do it. Don’t give up.  Push through your weak moments, and right when you feel like you’re about to reach the edge of your comfort zone, push some more.  Bust through the boundary of your comfort zone, and the moment you break free from it you will find a new rush of adrenaline causing you to go further than you ever imagined.

Remember this is true in any aspect of your life-not just exercise.  What goals do you want to reach within your job, school, ministry, hobbies, music, sports . . . ?  Don’t give up on them.  God placed those goals on your heart for a reason, and when you reach the point where you have to rely on him in order to continue (when you can’t continue by your own strength), he’ll show you a strength and endurance you never realized you could have.

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

Fit Friday Issue 3

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Last week I talked about motivation and how important it is to get motivated to be fit; whether that means eating healthy, exercising, or lowering your stress levels.  So far, I’ve talked only about exercise, and I want to continue with that today.

We are all motivated by something different, so each of our goals will look different.  I mentioned that my motivation for actually getting up and working out is the fact that I paid for a 5K race, so the race is my actual goal.  That goal may not work for you, and putting money down for something may not be a motivator for you.  Did you come up with a goal that gets you moving?

You might remember that I also said I could never stick with working out at a gym or taking boot camps because they both felt like chores to me.  Maybe you understand that, and you have trouble sticking to a plan because it feels like a chore as well.

Tip of the Week (Motivation part 2)

3 John 1:2
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.

We as a society (myself included) have become unhealthy.  The farther back in time you look the more physical labor you’ll find everyone doing.  Today, we have computers doing our research (no more going to the library, walking through the aisles and searching for the necessary book).  Actually, we have computers doing the majority of our work for us.  Many of us sit at desks, and sometimes we even eat while we’re working.  Without realizing it, we have become less fit than in the past because physical labor just isn’t required of everyone the way it used to be.  Because of the lifestyles we live today, finding some type of exercise regime is much more important than it was years before.

Look at the scripture above.  Even the bible makes mention of the importance of keeping our bodies healthy and strong.  For some, exercise may be about losing weight, but as a whole it’s about keeping ourselves healthy.

If setting a goal isn’t motivating you enough, and exercise still feels like a chore, then maybe you’re trying to motivate yourself to do the wrong type of exercise for you.

What does that mean, the wrong type of exercise?

I viewed the gym as a place where I would either be running on a treadmill or lifting weights; neither of which are appealing to me.  However, most gyms have different types of classes open to their members.  Now, maybe you are like I was and imagine nothing but spinning, yoga and Pilates when you think of classes.  While those are fun every once in a while, they aren’t enough to motivate me to come back to the gym on a regular basis.  Maybe you feel the same.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that gyms have had a major facelift since I last was a part of one.  Now, most offer fun classes that allow you to exercise without even realizing that’s what you’re doing!  For instance, my gym offers different types of dance classes.  I’ve always enjoyed dancing – I may not be great at it, but I’ve always loved it.

When I joined my gym, I spent time on the treadmill and elliptical for a few days, but I kept hearing about some of the classes, and it piqued my interest.  I didn’t at all think I would get a real workout from it, but they sounded fun anyway, so I decided to try one.

I most definitely underestimated the art of dance.  Mind you, I’m not talking about ballet or waltzing, which I’m sure are both great for exercising.  I’m talking about non-stop, fast paced movement for at least an hour.  Usually I am drenched in sweat (gross I know) after 10-15 minutes!  Each class gives a thorough work out of every muscle I would focus on with weights.  We work on our glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, biceps, triceps, abs, obliques, and I’m certain a plethora of other muscles I’ve never heard of (but sure have felt hurting the day or two after class).  I am completely sore the next day, and I just realized this weekend that I’ve gone down 2 pant sizes!

If you can find a class that interests you, I urge you to test it out.  If it’s one that makes you feel like you’re not “exercising”, you’re more likely to continue doing it.  I believe most gyms offer classes similar to the ones I take, and if you live in my area feel free to ask me about the gym I use, and I’ll tell you all about it!

The important thing is to learn more about the types of classes and equipment offered for you wherever you are, and find something that’s fun for you.  Don’t do like I did and fall into the trap of thinking there is only one option for you at a gym.

Maybe you don’t like gyms altogether.  Start looking online at ideas for fun things that may not seem like exercise.  If you have a gaming system and like to stay indoors, there are many options for you that get your body moving.  That’s exercise!  The most important thing is to get up and get moving!  Remember – baby steps can still get you to where you want to go.