“It hurts so good!” Okay, I know it is a quote from Dumb and Dumberer but it pops into my head about a lot of things in life. Like eating a piping hot quesadilla and burning my tongue. Like staying up so late reading an amazing book that my eyes water. And, it definitely applies to exercise.
When you have little ones in your home, exercise becomes a form of art. You have to figure out a way to raise your heart-rate and make muscles groan without waking up kids, stumbling over kids, subjecting them to harsh weather, or making your own blood-pressure fly through the roof when they think mommy’s workout it is the perfect time to interrupt your life.
Sometimes I think I have done it all—walks with the stroller, Zumba in my living room, 30-day fitness challenges during naps, elliptical machine during movie time. I can never stick with one mode of exercise for long. As kids go through different stages, our houses change, and interest wanes, my form of working up a sweat evolves.
But I fight for it anyways.
Exercise brings me peace. It harnesses energy. It makes me feel confident. It makes me feel ready to take on the world. I even use it for writing block.
Amazing. It is worth fighting for.
But it is also so easy for me to give up when life throws a curve ball. Exercise feels counter-intuitive. When I am exhausted I want to sit on the couch, not do squats. When I’m feeling down I want chocolate, not a fifteen-minute run on the elliptical machine. When my toddler throws a tantrum I want to shut out the world, not invite my girls into the living room for a few minutes of booty-shaking when we all need to work out our wiggles.
Yeah, exercise doesn’t make sense but it works every time. Every time.
Right now I am trying very hard to change my perspective of physical workouts. I want to change my mind from seeing them as chores to seeing them as blessings. I want to be as excited about getting outside and walking as I am about chocolate and good books. I want to feel that keeping in shape is as important as eating, breathing, and sleeping.
Our pastor at church is fighting a heart-condition brought on by a lifetime of overeating. A few Sundays ago he humbly cautioned his congregation to care for their bodies and to go beyond the lies and forces of the world that keep us from getting and staying healthy. That is what God wants for us—to have bodies ready to do his will. Bodies that support great attitudes. Bodies that set us up for peace, joy, and success.
God is with me in this and that one thought exhilarates me to no end.
I’ve got this.
It is going to hurt so good.
The sluggard craves and gets nothing,
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"...and God was already there with me."