Working out is one of the most inspiring times of my day. I love the ideas I get and the lessons I am taught while I am sweating buckets. I find that when I am trying to avoid the pain that comes with improving myself, my mind tries to go anywhere else. It is in the wanderings that I have learned so much.
Pushing myself to become stronger has always been something between me and, well, me. I am not a fan of working out in a gym setting anymore. I love to have my basement carpet, weights, stability ball and all other tools of ‘improvement’ right where I need them. I can fall down, make a mistake, trip and many other potentially, but not embarrassing moments without other eyes and snickers (unless you count my kids, but I am okay with that). I can also freaking rock and push myself to the limit too.
My two favorite implementations of becoming stronger are the programs Insanity and P90X2. I have learned a lot about myself with these sweat inducing, pain causing, weakness showing videos. Some people may look at that list and see negative reviews. I look at that list and see opportunity. I have learned that:
- I am strong, but there will always be a weakness to overcome (and soreness to feel in the morning).
- I can improve in one or two areas each time I push play.
- I have to be centered in order to have good balance (there is nothing like falling all over the place while balancing on a stability ball and lifing weights…graceful).
- Soreness is just a part of my life….I guess you could say it makes me feel alive..
- At close to 40, I am in the best shape of my life.
- These programs help me become better at karate, playing with my family and feeling good overall.
So here is where I am going with this one… okay it is not really one destination, but a lot of things that have ties to a greater purpose. I have had so many moments of pure inspiration as I have pondered during workouts, about workouts and making ties from my workouts. Life is just one big workout to me. We have moments of strength building, interval training (sprint-rest-sprint), endurance training, pure cardio (during which your breath is taken away for a really long time) and recovery.
I have yet to make it through one of the workouts I do and feel strong with each and every move. My nemesis at this time is push-ups. For whatever reason they continue to vex me. I have a requirement for my black belt test that I will need to do 25 plank, on your feet, man push ups. I am good with that, because that is simply pure toughness in my book. Yet, the progress I am making with them is not as quick as I would like it to be. After 12-15 I feel weak. I look at it as an opportunity to grit my teeth and get better (but not every day).
We all have this innate ability within us to despise feeling weak. With this comes a choice that needs to be made. We can either choose to simply embrace the weakness, because ‘that is who we are’ (blah) or we can look at it as a time to grit our teeth and push through…even if pushing through doesn’t look the best. I know I feel better when my choice is number two.
Walking home from dropping the kids off from school yesterday, I realized that we were born to make the second choice…to push through even if it isn’t pretty. We were born to push our spirits to their limit in order to find Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. With each life training moment we are give the opportunity to find that weakness that keeps us from them and strengthen it. Like our bodies it is not a ‘one and done’ deal. These weaknesses take a lifetime of training to strengthen.
I will admit, sometimes it is a little disheartening to continually work on our weaknesses. I learned the best thing yesterday and it something we all should remember. Heavenly Father will never give us more than we can carry. He gave us His son, Jesus Christ to carry what we can’t, after we have given it our best. We simply need to look for Him, because as He has said…His arms are always there waiting for us.
How has He helped you carry you?