After 4 years of running, using the elliptical machine, and some free weights; it was time to “shake things up”. I have access to a fantastic athletic club filled with great classes so it was about time that I utilized one of them.
I decided to take an Intervals class to begin to work on my core and gain new strength. I was excited about my new adventure! The class began as i had many items ( weights, step, mat, etc) in my personal space, the music started, and our teacher began to walk us through many moves that tested and challenged every muscle in our bodies.
As I crawled out of bed the next day I had a reaction from every one of those muscles I had utilized in the class the day before. Just going up and down my stairs was a physical event! MY MUSCLES WERE SCREAMING AT ME! 🙂 Some of my inner thoughts were “well, I must be too old for this”, I think I better not go to class again.”, I thought I was already healthy, maybe something is wrong…”
I have returned to class numerous times and surprisingly enough the more I have used those muscles the less grief they have caused me. I was so surprised I had so many muscles I had left under utilized for so long; I am glad I am working on changing this.
I began to think about how this whole experience relates to life as well. As I walk through the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of my life there are “muscles” that can remain under-utilized if I let them. The challenge comes when I choose, or am forced, into a situation that requires me to dig really deep, using new emotional, occupational, spiritual, or relational muscles. It can be painful and stretching.
Let’s imagine that “forgiveness” is a muscle. If we have allowed ourselves to blame others, carry a grudge, & justify our un-forgiveness for a long period of time, then that “muscle” will probably be pretty weak and untested. Stretching into becoming a more forgiving person is ultimately a fantastic choice in every way…..but getting there, choosing to regularly forgive, may be a painful road to pursue initially.
Trust, faith, joy, gratefulness, patience, and perseverance are important “muscles”.
Romans 5:3-4 says: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
Take an assessment today. Are there any muscles you need to begin to intentionally work on so that they will be strong and effective this new year, do you need to “shake things up”?
Seize the day, my friend. 🙂