I don’t want to get up!

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Our alarm “screams aloud” at 5:15 every weekday morning; this begins a process of decision-making for me. As I lay cozy in my bed I am more in love with my pillow than at any other point in the day and I am talking to myself. “ I could go to the gym later today”, “I worked out hard yesterday so I’m fine.” “I’ll just stay home and do stretches a little later.”   I laugh because I have this little dialogue so often knowing full well that if I don’t get up and go to the gym at the start of the day I probably won’t go at all!

My husband, on the other hand, has already made the decision that he IS going to the gym each morning. Greg recognizes the incredible value of self-care habits and is committed to taking good care of himself. I, too, know and experience the value of regular exercise. When I get up and head to the gym by 6am my day always feels better; I feel better!

So why is it that when I know something is so valuable to my life physically and emotionally I still have to “talk myself into that good decision”? It makes no logical sense! But isn’t that the way we can all be? I know taking time to be reflective each day; spending time in the Word and taking time to  journal is so cup filling. I know that eating well and exercising causes me to live with greater health and wellness. I know that taking the time to build quality relationships for challenge, accountability, and support is key to my experiencing community. Those are just a few things I KNOW.

I am committed to saying “Yes, I will” to all of the above truths in greater measure in 2018. How about you? What do you want to say, “Yes, I will “ to this New Year? What important intentions have been missing from your daily routines that IF you committed to them would make a big difference in your life?

How about it? Let’s start this year with a fresh focus, attitude, and willingness to say

“Yes, I will”!

Spin Class~

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Up at 5am, I am blurry-eyed as I grab my Spin Shorts and tennis shoes! With the loving encouragement of my Daughter in law who joins me; I hop in the car and head to the Athletic club for the early morning Spin Class.

I have noticed something about me; if I think about an hour of Spinning I feel overwhelmed by the daunting ride ahead. However, as the instructor leads us to ride in intervals time just flies!  When we are asked to push HARD I am sure I can do it for 3 or 4 minutes knowing there is an end in sight.

There is a part of a Spin class that I didn’t anticipate and that is the value, the necessity of what the instructor calls “Recovery”. This is when we’ve pushed really hard for an interval and we are asked to remove any bike tension making it really easy to pedal. This allows our heart rate to go down a little and helps with the lactic acid in our legs. Then, after a brief recovery, we up the pace and the tension and we ride hard again.

This morning I was thinking about the need for “recovery” in our lives.  How often do we push ourselves in our lives without taking dearly needed recovery time? We keep working harder, moving faster, all the while hoping we can sustain the pace. However, the only real sustainable way to have a healthy, fruitful life is to have the ebb and flow of hard work and “recovery”.

What could recovery look like in your life? A long walk, painting, mountain bike ride, a nap, reading a book, time with a valued friend or family member, a slow cup of coffee, time spend in your Bible, or going on a long run?  Think about the pace of life you have been managing lately and see if you need to insert a little more recovery into your calendar.  Give yourself permission to step away and catch your breath.

I know for certain that if my Spin instructor required us to maintain a high intensity for the entire hour, many of us would not return, some might simply pass out. I am thankful for “recovery” after a revved up interval……………..even if it is 5:30 in the morning! 🙂

My Aching Muscles~

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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. 🙂