Monday, July 29, 2013

An Array of Thoughts

Today was one of the hardest days I have had in the gym in a while. I woke up feeling very run down as if I am coming down with a cold. My body and mind are drained, physically and emotionally. Actually I had no interest in even going. The weather probably played a role in that because its the perfect weather to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie. The worst part was my pre-workout didn't even help.  But I knew I had a plan for the day that I needed to complete no matter how hard it would be. Yesterday I had planned to do a long cardio session today followed by lifting, however that wasn't going to happen. In order to even make it through cardio I had to do 20 minutes on the elliptical and 20 min of incline walking on the treadmill. Let me tell you it was a struggle. Every step I took my body reminded me of how tired it was. All I wanted to do was give up. On top of that it seemed as if every past injury was flared up today. My left calf felt like it wanted to explode, which was only a reminder of my compartment syndrome injury. Luckily, I made it through those very tough 40 minutes. Then there was lifting, the one thing that usually brings me out of any mood I may be in but not today. Once again I battled mind and body. I truly pushed until I had nothing left to give. My arms were shaking, my shoulder was tired, and I just wanted to be finished. It felt as if for two hours I was constantly reminded of my past. The struggles I have been through, the pain, the challenges but also the growth that has occurred because of those trials. Those injuries were what led me to rely on God for strength. They forced me to take a look in the mirror and change my life not just for myself but for everyone around me. Pain can lead to a positive outcome it just depends on how you look at it. You can either stay bitter or allow those struggles to make you better. It's a rough road. A lonely road. And at times it feels as if no one understands. People can walk beside you, help you and support you but they can't do it for you, only you can.

A lot of people don't understand why I spend so much time in the gym. A lot of those same people don't understand why or how I stay so dedicated to diet and exercise. I even think some people have it in their minds that its easy for me. Truth is its not easy at all. I wanted to share my story of today with the sole purpose of explaining that its just as hard for me as it is for you. Of course there are times where getting out of bed hours before I have to is the last thing I want to do. I have those days where it takes everything in me just to get in the car and go to the gym. But to be honest, that is half the battle. I'm not even talking about just the gym in this case, but sometimes just showing up in life is one of the most important things. Now when talking about my diet that may be one of the biggest challenges. It takes a ton of self control and it has taken me a pretty long time to get to the point I am at. I am not perfect and I still have a lot of areas that I want to improve on. I look in the mirror just like every other person and immediately pick apart what I don't like. The only difference compared to some is when I do that I don't accept it. I use it as fuel. It motivates me to push myself. It makes me work harder on those days when all I want to do is quit. I think sometimes we look at people and our jealousy overpowers our ability to truly think of what it took for that person to get where they are. We forget that they have struggled through all those same emotions and still struggle with similar issues. That same jealous feeling blinds our ability to look at someone's life with compassion so instead we judge them. And why are we judging them? We are actually mad at ourselves for not having that strength and will-power. At the time it just seems easier to take it out on them.

My challenge for you is take a look at what's inside your heart. What is fueling you to treat people the way you do or make the comments you make about others lives? Are you feeling some sort of jealousy, bitterness, guilt or maybe even shame? Don't let what's in your heart rob you of love and compassion to others. If you know someone that is extremely passionate about something take a second to ask them why. I'm telling you some of the stories people tell me at the gym or even my friends that now live to workout, what drives them is generally an incredible testimony. Think about that next time you think someone's life is easy or perfect. You have no idea what's behind that hard work. Lastly, as you challenge yourself to look at what's in your heart, challenge yourself to take even one step towards a healthier life. Transfer the time you spend worrying about everyone else and figure out what you can do to make your life better. Maybe it's not necessarily working out, maybe it's something else. Whatever it may be try to find it. Stop making excuses. Forgive those who hurt you and remember that living in the past will block you from what God has for your future. If you love something do it. Allow your life to be as purposeful as it's meant to be.

God Bless,

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