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.

 

 

Fit Friday: Be SMART with Me

It has been forever since I’ve posted a Fit Friday, so I think it’s about time to start again.  Typically these posts are about things related to fitness but can also be used in other areas of life.  If you don’t want to do this particular challenge with me, take note of the Be SMART section, and look for ways to use that in your every day life.

Challenge
Flower by Moby

First, let me say I haven’t done pushups in FOREVER nor have I done much strength training. I want to, but I really NEED someone to do it with me and hold me accountable. In the meantime, I’m challenging myself and YOU (should you accept the challenge) to join me.

The goal is to get through the entire song, and you can choose to do whatever you want: pushups, planks, tricep dips, squats, or anything else you struggle with and want to get better at. As you can see from the video, I’ve lost so much of what I worked hard to build up.  My form is awful, and I barely have any strength anymore, which is why I did the weird rocking thing with planks.  This is why I’m determined to do this.

I only made it ¼ of the way through the song on day 1 with pushups and then turned right around to try planks.  I was already so shaky that I could only make it ¼ of the way with those, too.

Who wants to do this with me?  Each week we can share our progress until we meet our goals. I have several goals for myself, but this is yours, so set whatever goal works for you.  My personal final goals are to:

  • Improve form
  • Improve stability
  • Make it through the entire song with
    • Pushups
    • Planks
    • Tricep Dips
    • Squats (My group fitness class is going to love this one!)

Be SMART

When you think of your own goals, break them down into smaller goals, and come up with a plan on how you can get to that point, then give yourself a time frame.  A lot of times we look at our overall goal, and it seems unreachable.  That’s why it’s important to break it down into more reasonable “mini” goals.

Now, most people will probably set one goal.  I have no idea why, but I felt the need to set 4.  Don’t feel like you have to do that.  Start with one thing.  Maybe your goal is to get through the song while doing pushups.  Then, set an end date; 30 days from now, for example.  Now, how can you get from where you are today to where you want to be in 30 days?  Maybe that means setting a goal to improve in form and add 30 more seconds each week you can make it through the song.  This means you probably need to start day 1 first to see where you already are.  Take video of yourself to see what you need to improve with form, and it’ll also allow you to measure length of time.  Take a new video each week to see if you’re meeting your short term “mini” goals.

These “mini” goals are called SMART Goals.

Specific
M
easurable
A
ttainable
R
ealistic
T
imely

How Serious Are You?

If you’re serious about joining me, comment on this page to tell me what your SMART goals are.  I will do the same.  We can hold each other accountable all while encouraging and motivating one another.  Did you know writing your goals down improves your chances at success in reaching them?  LET’S DO THIS!!!

Flower | Moby

Is 1 Leg Shorter than the Other?

crosstraining

I’m CROSSTRAINING this morning. I’m constantly talking about fitness, being fit, and living a healthy lifestyle, but to be healthy and fit you must train more than your physical body. It’s about balance – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Neglect any one of these and you will be like a chair with one leg cut shorter than the others. That chair is unbalanced and useless.

Feed your body the nourishment it needs on a regular basis and in all areas, and you will live a healthy life.

This reminds me of a post I wrote last year. Check it out  Fit Friday Issue 5