In typical toddler fashion, I stomped my feet on my proverbial insides and screamed at the top of my lungs, “I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE GYM!” I laid on my bed contemplating all the reasons I should go and weighed them against all the reasons I did NOT want to go.
Reasons I did NOT want to go:
1. We normally go in the morning or early afternoon. Once evening has arrived, I typically want to stay in for the rest of the night…barring a date night out with the hubs.
2. I was just plain tired!
3. My muscles were so sore, I’d had a hard time sleeping last night. And, even though we rotate target areas, I felt sore from my neck all the way down through my core. Which means…
4. We were gonna do legs tonight 🤦♀️. “Great”, I thought, “now my whole body was going to hurt!”
Doing hard things … well…it’s just so hard! Kinda redundant…I know. But here’s the thing… I’ve noticed this as a trend in my life. Several nights ago, was Bible study night. When the time came to go, I struggled finding the want to, and for many of the same reasons I listed above – I didn’t want to leave the hubs since I really enjoy our evenings at home together and it was cold and dark out, causing me to just want to stay in my warm pj’s snuggled next to my man, in front of the fireplace, with a hot cup of coffee and our favorite tv show playing. Perfect night, huh? I could feel the toddler in me rising up, yet again, begging to have her way!
So what made me go to the gym or Bible study? What makes any of us do hard things, like go to work everyday or keep up on the laundry or dishes or food choices or keeping our self control when we would rather give in and say the mean things floating through our heads?
Many of the things I listed are things we struggle doing but most often make the right choices because the consequences will be rather immediate. If I don’t go to work, there won’t be a paycheck. If I don’t keep up on the dishes or the laundry, I will run out of what I need to eat and have to run around naked… not really but you get the point.
Some choices are less immediate. And still other choices just sound good to the extreme unhealthy and lazy girl that lives in my body, begging to be released Every. Single. Day! I’m telling you, I have to work hard to keep her in check!! She wants to eat nothing but chocolate, pizza, donuts (Little known fact… I’m a donut connnoisseur), and raspberry vanilla frappes ALL day long! Muscle pain is her nemesis and she’ll do anything to avoid it!!
So…why did I go when it was so stinkin’ hard?
For starters, I know that when I give in to “that girl” living inside me, begging to come out, it’s only that much harder the next day and the next. I get off track as easy as the next person! One day can turn into weeks of not working out, eating unhealthy, not reading my Bible, or letting my laundry get out of control, although never to the point of having to go naked 😂
Another reason I decided to go to Bible study and work out, was because I have enough life experience to know that once I do these things that seem hard in the moment, I end up LOVING it! I don’t think I’ve ever left a Bible study feeling like that was a waste of my time!! I love diving into God’s Word and being amongst friends makes it even more special! There’s mutual giving and receiving and my cup is so full when I leave to head home!
When I drive to the gym instead of staying curled up on the couch with my favorite bowl of ice cream…you know the kind with big chunks of peanut butter and chocolate loaded in vanilla… I feel good about myself; that I made the right choice! That makes me feel strong and capable…staving off depression, anxiety, and too much time in my head! By going, I get to see where I’m making strides in the level of weight I’m lifting or leg ups I’m able to complete!
I also notice that when I feel the least like working out because I feel tired, the more energy it gives me and I sleep better at night… unless we’ve had a particularly tough workout and I find myself a little more sore than usual.
I’m not saying that working out is all there is to life! I NEVER want ANYTHING to “own” me! I want to be fully present with those I love and take good care of myself.
The question for me is, “Am I characterized by making good decisions or rather excuses to satisfy the worst parts of myself?”
So, as I headed out the door…terrible toddler in tow, still kicking and screaming on the inside, I smiled. Even though I didn’t want to do it, my legs had carried me to the car! I was alive, breathing, healthy, and had an opportunity that many don’t ever get the chance to have… TO LIVE!
It was then that I made a decision. If I couldn’t go with a good attitude, then I shouldn’t go. So I grabbed my husband’s hand, looked him in the eyes and smiled. It may not have been my best work out ever, but I did it! And…I’m better for it! Here’s to another day of trying my best to make good choices!
Now…where did I put that donut! 😜