About 7-10 years ago I went to the gym with Captain for a few months, maybe. It was miserable. I made it miserable. I felt uncomfortable, I didn't have a reason to be there, and I didn't know what I was doing. After following him around a few days with my arms folded in front of my chest, frowning (if not growling) the entire time, I found myself on the treadmill every morning. I had a really good explanation to only use the treadmill, which I'm sure made perfect sense.
I don't remember why I started going and I don't remember why I quit. But I certainly did. I have had a love hate relationship with exercise for a long time. For most of my adult life I simply did nothing extra. I cut the grass, cleaned the house, ran the errands, and played with the boys, but the gym and I were not on speaking terms. I tried to run a couple of times. A few times I was determined to do something. But it never worked out until I had a reason.
Approximately two years ago I began going to a bootcamp class that is offered at the church gym. I'll be honest, it took me a few months to mentally get ready to join the class. I saw what it entailed and was scared. But the reason I began was because I knew without some kind of training I would not be able to pass my taekwondo tests. I had to do more to prepare. It's also why I began running. I needed better endurance to make it through all the sparring matches I would face and still be able to breathe at the end. That's why I ran my first half marathon. It's why I began training for my only full marathon.
But this is what happened: I passed my Black Belt test, and the tests get easier from here on out.
Problem: I have lost the reason behind going to the gym.
Solution: I need to find another reason.
I have 15 days until my marathon, so that is my main focus right now, but once that is done I know I am going to need a new reason if I am going to keep working out and going to the gym. What is my why, because once I know that I can figure out the what better.
I can give you a list of reasons which simply don't work for me. Not long term. Sure maybe the desire to get into a bathing suit and feel comfortable will get me in the gym for a bit, but feeling comfortable is about how I think I look, not being healthy. And sure I plan on running more half marathons so the next one will keep me on the road, but what about when I don't have one scheduled? What then?
Here's the thing, obviously I want to keep working out so I have to ask myself why. And the reason I keep coming up with is the same one I have for teaching self-defense to others: so that I can do whatever God places in front of me.
I read an article in the Baptist Messenger which reminded me that my reason really does matter. I am not working to be the strongest girl I know, or the thinnest, or even the fittest. Others will be more than I am in all those categories. If I am simply working to fit into a certain size of clothing, I will fail at the gym as well. The smallest I ever was I was that size because of stress, not health. I want to be healthy and full of life and enjoy what I am given each day. I want to live so that God can use me as He sees fit.
And so, my reason is to be strong enough to carry out whatever task God sets in front of me. So, I have to be prepared in all ways, physically being just as important as all the others.
This reason will certainly change how I work out and exercise, and I'm perfectly okay with that. I simply need to make sure I don't make excuses like I did for the treadmill, but work hard to keep my motive, my reason, firm in my mind and heart at all times.
What reason do you have to get in some workouts? What reason do you give for not doing so?