Faith Over Fear

Recently my husband and I started working out at a gym called Athletic Republic. It has been a FAT minute since I worked out in a gym with a trainer. Honestly, it has been a refreshing change to work out with someone who pushes me, rather than relying on myself.

The other day our trainer had us doing box jumps. I started off on level 2. It was fairly easy, so the next round I went up to level 3. He looked at me and said, “go up to the next one (level 4). You can do it.”

Ummmm…. I am not a spring chicken, nor have I ever considered myself a springy chicken. So, I half-heartedly attempted to jump, and then fear took over. Regrettably, I stepped away…hating that fear inside of myself the entire day.

These workouts have produced a lot of moments where I find I have trust issues. Whether it is running backwards on a treadmill and letting go of the bar, doing pull-ups, plyo pushups, or box jumps, I find I lack trust within myself to accomplish them.

And I hate it. I hate feeling fear.

I know God hears my heart. I know He understands how much I hate feeling fear. I also know He is not going to take it away from me. He is going to let me work through it, because on the other side is power, strength and courage.

One of the ways He knows He can reach me is through words. I had begun to read a book this past weekend called Think Like A Warrior by Darrin Donnelly. It talks about five inner beliefs that make one unstoppable. The last one is choosing faith over fear.

For so long I have justified my fears and allowed them to rule over me. It is easy to justify them, because it feels like they are protecting us from some inherent harm. When in all reality they are doing more harm by keeping us in the same place, not living.

The opposite of fear is faith. Faith in God. Faith in the abilities and gifts He has given us. Faith that life is full of opportunity and growth. Faith that, even if we get hurt, we will grow. Faith that we are more than we think we are. Faith that the next step is renewal. Faith that there is more than what we see right now.

Faith in God

“You see when we place our dependence on God, we no longer have to worry. This type of faith allows us to be bold, even recklessly bold, in the pursuit of our dreams. Faith in God takes confidence to a whole new level. It provides us with help along the way as well as sureness in our action. We can know with certainty that if we give our absolute best, God will take care of the rest.”

There is power in faith. Power over fear. Power over weakness. Power over the unknown. Power over anything holding us back. It is only accessible when we CHOOSE it.

Choosing faith is something that needs to be done all day, every day. It is a power that adds upon itself, giving us confidence in the next step. It is truly a gift from God.

I love that He is so aware of us. I love that He sends us the ability to be strong through faith. I love that He knows each of our fears and provides us a way through them. Knowing this helps me know I am His.

Today I choose faith over fear.

Living Intentionally

I have a list of things I need to do daily for my spiritual, mental, and physical health. In the grand scheme of life, they are pretty small, but to me, they are THE DIFFERENCE.

Earlier this week, my mom shared with me how she wanted to take the morning and study her scriptures, but so many little things kept popping into her head to get done. As she started to do all of these things, she stopped herself and sat down and began to read. She said, “I had to let everything else go and do what I set out to do.”

A couple of days later my husband and I were talking about exercising. He said, “I keep telling myself that I will find something, but I don’t. I just need to find it and start.”

As I have thought about these little moments with my husband and my mom, I remembered the book by John Maxwell called Intentional Living. It is a fantastic book that is worth the time. What he talks about in the book is anything we want to accomplish in life is possible if we are intentional about it.

What this means to me is I need to devote focus and energy to the areas in life that I want to improve and change. So many times we are led to believe that life will get better, just wait. Or you can change your weight and health by taking this magic pill. Or if I think it the universe will make it happen.

These are all passive solutions. They don’t work. I know, I have tried them.

What I have learned in my little journey is: LIFE IS NOT PASSIVE.

I have always struggled with goal setting. To me it has been a great idea, however, when I set down on a goal journey, I am often frustrated and disheartened. I have read books, listened to podcasts, attended seminars, etc. You name it, I have done it.

The end result?

I come away with so much energy, set my goals, and then LIFE HAPPENS. The goals get pushed to the back burner and there we are.

Except…

There are those that I have followed through on and they have changed my world a little bit at a time.

Years ago I made a promise to God that I would spend time in the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon daily. I knew that if I did this, I would have the spiritual strength and guidance I need. I have missed only one day.

Over 200 days ago I made a goal to study French daily. Back in my 20’s, I spent 16 months in France and Switzerland serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The time there and the language have been a huge blessing to me. So I decided to recapture it.

After a few bouts of sadness a long time ago, I learned that exercise was the best anti-depressant I could ever use. I made that decision to workout at least 4 times a week. That decision has taken me down some amazing paths of earning a black belt in karate, trail running through some beautiful terrain, and pushing myself physically to a point of new strength.

Everything I have devoted focus and energy to, I have been successful. But it takes making an INTENTIONAL DECISION to get it done. I have to set aside all of the little thoughts of “do this” or “you should just rest” or “take the day off” or anything else that wants to pull me down. And more days than not, it is a fight to get these things done.

But when I do… I feel so good.

I am grateful for the inspiration I had this week to look at and see the things that I have been able to accomplish. Finding purpose in life has been something that I have struggled with. Yet, the more focus and energy I give to the things I want to accomplish, the more purpose I find.

It is a beautiful part of our journey to discover and own who we are.

 

His Gym

One Sunday morning this past March I awoke with a start. It was as if a force was pulling me out of my toasty bed and pushing me out the door to go for a walk. I still cannot explain what happened that morning, however I am forever grateful it did.

That day started me walking 1 and 2 miles a day down the street and back. Our street is located in the foothills of the beautiful mountains in Northern Utah. It is one of the most beautiful places to walk, jog or ride a bike. The changing seasons bring different colors, temperature, smells and creatures. I love this gym.

What began as walking has turned into running again after 18 years and retraining my running style.

mymountains

What begain as walking down the street has turned into exploring the mountains behind our home. I have a wonderful friend who has introduced me to our mountains and the beauty they offer. I love our time in the mountains.

Yet, the first time I hiked the trails on my own, I found a profound sense of peace and freedom. I began to see that I am strong enough to make that journey on my own. It has become a sacred place of meditation and communion with my Heavenly Father.

Last week I took a run through the mountains. The colors took my breath away, inspiring me to stop frequently and take pictures (which subsequently made my run take a lot longer). The beauty of God’s gym is awe-inspiring, so I wanted to share what I found.

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The beginning of the trail. I love how the leaves are scattered all over the trail!

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I looked up to the side of the trail and this tree brought a smile to my face

(which is a little energy boost when running).

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As the trail curves, it climbes into this beautiful little canyon.

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Coming around the corner out of the little canyon, this red tree was waiting for my camera.

hike6The colors on the side of this mountain stopped me in my tracks (again).

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This little bridge over a creek has taught me so much about life (more on that another time).

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The final ascent out of the canyon.

God’s gym is my favorite place to workout. In it I get to see my weaknesses, find strength I never knew I had, breathe in life and freedom, and commune with the Creator of all. This gym has been one of the greatest blessings in my life as I have seen Him daily in my life.

Healing My Limitations

healingAt one point in my life I was a runner. I loved the freedom I felt as I found a steady rhythm that match my music and soul. Not only did I find strength in my body, but I found strength in my mind as I would let go.

One day I experienced a pain like no other pain I had felt. It seemed like there was a knife cutting through the side of my knee. No matter how much I worked at it, I could not run through this pain. 

I spent many years trying different types of shoes, thinking there was a magical pair that would heal my knee. I worked at stretching, interval running, strengthening and so forth. There never was a long term solution, so I simply ‘accepted’ the fact that I was not to run anymore.

My heart has wanted to run so many times, especially now that we live in an area where it is safe to run. Not only is it safe, it is incredibly beautiful.

I have been pondering this knee pain and the limitation I felt it had put in my life. I decided last week that I would return to running, one way or another, I would run again.

It is amazing how Heavenly Father orchestrates our lives. When we have a desire in our hearts, it seems as though life aligns to realize it.

I am now one belt away from earning my black belt in karate. This is has been a journey in and of itself. One of the requirements is running. When I heard this my heart dropped and my body went into ‘you can’t because of your knee’ mode. I felt it so profoundly in every part of me. I felt the power the limitation had over me.

With a background in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, I ran through all of the scenarios in my mind of this chronic knee pain. I couldn’t find a solution that would work for me. I hate that more than anything, because I feel so trapped.

Today I decided I would get on the treadmill, no matter what. I am not going to let this win. My husband started to challenge my thoughts of being limited by ‘knee pain’. He wouldn’t let me make any excuses or allow anything that resembled limited thinking. He knows just the right buttons to push to get me thinking and moving forward (I will say that as I stepped on the treadmill I had a growl in my head).

As I began to run, I focused my thoughts on healing and strength. I found a gait that was so comfortable, a pace that was perfect and a rhythm that spoke to my soul. I could feel fearful knee pain thoughts creeping in. I decided not to allow them access to my mind, body and soul. As I fought them off, I felt myself relax and enjoy the little journey I was on.

That short little run was one of the most healing experiences I have had. My self-imposed limitations had affected my body to such a degree that I was not able to do something that I truly love. Healing that limitation and turning it into a freedom was so powerful to my mind, body and soul.

Our minds are a gift from Heavenly Father. There is so much power that lies within them…power to become incredible or nothing at all. It is all in how we choose to exercise this power. Today I chose to let it heal me.

Pushing Barriers

The climbFor as long as I can remember I have been deathly afraid of heights and falling. There is a special sensation that grips the back of my legs when I feel like I am up too high or too close to a ledge…and don’t even ask me to look up.

This can get a little ridiculous at times. When we first hiked up the road to spend time in my mountain, I looked back and this feeling gripped my legs, heart and lungs. I was standing on a solid road, not even close to a drop off. I didn’t let it stop me that day, however I had to push through it. I have never regretted that. My mountain hold so many treasures for me…the waterfall, paths that lead somewhere and nowhere at the same time, peace, inspiration, and rocks to climb. 

barriersI have often thought about this barrier in my life and how it can prevent me from discovering amazing places and experiences. I realized that if I had allowed it to control me that day, I would have never found the incredible emotions that spread through me as I spend time in a place I love.

How often do the barriers that I feel in my life prevent me from experiencing, living and feeling?

If I see a barrier for what it truly is, then I am more likely to conquer it. So what is a barrier? My answer to this came from a discussion I had with my incredible husband. We were talking about how often we limit ourselves and why we do this. How many influences in our lives, when allowed, will hold us back.

I have found that a barrier is anything that is placed upon our hearts, spirits and minds that prevent us from moving forward and becoming who we are meant to be. At the core of it all is the adversary who wants nothing more than to bind us completely. He does it all so quietly and little by little until we accept the hold he has on us as ‘safety’ or ‘reality’.

the viewToday I decided to break from my traditional workout and accept an invitation from my husband to climb to a huge rock that sits high in my mountain. We hiked straight up over a thousand feet, climbing over rocks, and creating a path for ourselves…the entire time I kept my eyes on the ground (mostly because I didn’t want to roll the ankles). When we reached our destination I looked back on where we had come from. In spite of that sensation gripping my legs, the view was BREATHTAKING! I had pushed through my barrier and found something far more beautiful! I also found that my fear is a perception…not reality.

We found a rock that was bigger than we imagined. We found the power that onlyconquering comes through conquering. We found inspiration. We found life!

Life is meant to be lived. It is only through living that we find ourselves…who we were before we came and who we are meant to become. Barriers are meant to be pushed, stretched and broken. Doing this gives us the strength to do it again and again.

Pushing BackOnce again, I found Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on the other side of the barrier….showing me the magic of life.

Countdown

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome of my most favorite words when I am working out are…. “from 5,4,3,2,1 and that is it!!!!! ” It is music to my ears to hear that the challenge is over and I have succeeded one more time. Not only is it magical at the end of the workout, it is amazing in the middle when a particularly sweat/pain inducing set is almost over. Time running out gets me through.Continue reading “Countdown”

Core Strength

fingersA couple of weeks ago I was blindsided (in a good way) by an opportunity that will require me to stretch myself in ways that have scared me for a long time. I am pretty sure the blindside method was necessary. This way I would not think, I would just do.

With this opportunity I have found that I have needed to do a lot of new things, step out of my little shy box and carry some new responsibilities. It all has felt pretty heavy…sometimes more than I feel I can carry.Continue reading “Core Strength”

Battleworn

I just barely finished my workout for the day…typing is not something that comes easy when your hands are shaking from fatigue :). This is one of the most difficult workouts I have done in file0001101049689quite sometime. In and of itself, the Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance workout is tough, however today it seemed insurmountable. From the first set of jumping jacks to the last stretch, it took every ounce of willpower I had to not walk away.

But I made it. It was ugly, but I made it.Continue reading “Battleworn”

Falling Down

I love karate! I think I have mentioned it a time or two on this blog, but because I love it so much I will mention it once again. beltpromojune 124

Karate has taught me so many life lessons. I have wished so many times that I started this journey when I was a lot younger, however I think I would not have appreciated the depth of learning that I have experienced if I had started this in my teens or even twenties.

This week in training brought a new lesson. It is one that I have had to learn, re-learn and learn all over again. I need to keep it with me from now on, because I don’t bounce like I used to. I tend to thud and climb back up. Continue reading “Falling Down”

Choose

There are some emotions, thoughts and feelings that need to come out, yet have difficulty finding a voice. I have this happen to me frequently and today is no different.file000410178915

As I worked out this morning I was thinking about life as it has been for the past few months. I have not been able to put my finger on the purpose of why I have felt the way I have or the struggles I have been striving to overcome. It is as though I have had to swim upstream with a hand in the middle of my chest pushing me back. No matter how hard I have tried to swim faster, smarter, more paced or even all out sprinting, the hand remains…pushing. There have been days when I simply could not go any more and I found myself slipping downstream. Continue reading “Choose”