I took up jogging the year I had my last baby. It was just before I turned 40 and I got a baby, a big 4-0, and reading glasses all in the same year. I like jogging. It helps me stay sane. And in a house as crazy as mine it’s nice to have something for me. But as much as I like it, and as necessary as I believe exercise is, it’s work. And work can sometimes lose it’s joy. When life gets busy and hectic then we cut corners and the gym and good eating habits can get the short end of the stick.
That’s the story of my life for the last several weeks/months. Summer was busy and the kids were out of school and I didn’t have much freedom to get out and run or go to the gym. Then school came along and things only ramped up. So I finally decided if I’m going to make it to the gym or run, then I have to go while children are sleeping. This morning I went running for the first time in 5-6 weeks. Well, you can’t really call what I was doing “running”. It was more like a fast, limping walk. I’m sure it was painful to watch for those around me on the other treadmills.
Here’s a lesson: You can’t skip jogging for 5 weeks, eat whatever you want during those 5 weeks, gain 7 pounds during those 5 weeks and really expect to have a personal best when you decide to start jogging again! There’s always a reckoning for the lazy. And you know, we really aren’t lazy are we? We’ve got plenty going on. We’re busy. I think our lack of discipline is just that we’re unfocused.
Let’s face it, we all become unfocused unless something causes us to refocus. I originally focused on exercise because I was 40 with a baby! My days may be numbered, but I want to live them as healthy as I can and don’t want my 5 kids thinking I’m an old fogey! I also have an Autistic daughter who is 10 and is bigger than I am and she’s expected to grow to be about 6 feet tall (I’m 5’6″). I’m her primary care giver. If I can’t give care to her and manage her when she’s aggressive, then the out come will be heartbreaking. So I got focused on exercise. And then I got comfortable and lazy in my thoughts and became unfocused again. Then some friends asked me to join them in a team 5k. I registered. Paid money. And I know that if I don’t start running again soon, I will embarrass myself when they have to drag me across the finish line. Refocused. But I’m already sore. 🙂 I’m hoping that I perform well when my “in-shapeness” is put to the test on race day.
“In shape” is what we strive for with exercise, but we usually only think of it when it comes to our bodies. We are, however, so much more than our bodies. We are multi-faceted beings made up of physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual and more. Are we “in shape” when it comes to the whole of our being? When we are put to the test in one of these areas how will we perform?
Can we really fill our minds with anything we want, whenever we want? Can we listen to negative input, criticism and untruth and expect to be free of depression and recognize truth and have wisdom?
Can we ignore spiritual disciplines of prayer and worship and the study of scriptures and then expect to have a strong faith when crisis comes?
Can we live however we want, eat whatever we want, not get enough sleep, abuse our bodies and then wonder why we are sick?
Can we use the people around us, only being a friend when we need something? Can we be unkind with our words, selfish, me-centered and dishonest and really think that we can have meaningful relationships?
Can we fill our minds with trashy talk, violence, profanity, or even copious amounts of brain candy and believe that our minds will remain sharp?
The whole of our person needs to be in shape. And that can’t happen without focus. The unfocused becomes the undisciplined. The undisciplined becomes the lazy. The lazy becomes the unhealthy.
There’s always time in our world for the things that are important to us. If it’s important we figure it out. So decide what’s important. Then be willing to give up something else less important to make it happen. When your “in-shapeness” is put to the test, whether mentally, socially, spiritually, emotionally, don’t you want to perform well? Sure you do. But here’s what I know. When you skip jogging for 5 weeks you don’t realize how out of shape you are. You still think of yourself as being in shape; being able to do more than you can. And then you get on the treadmill and you’re faced with the hard reality of what your lack of focus has cost you. When you’re put to the test in life, will you be “in shape”?
A 5k is no big deal. Just fun. But life, now that’s a big deal. Live the best one you can and don’t deceive yourself, and rob yourself of good holistic health. If you don’t prepare, train, be disciplined, and focus on what’s important, you won’t perform well when the test comes. And it will come.
But the good part about recognizing how out of shape you are in life is that you can do something about it. You have a choice. You get to decide what kind of person you are going to be.
Be kind. Be wise. Be frugal. Be practical. Be positive. Be sensitive. Be quiet if you must and listen. Be as healthy as you can be in every area. Victory in a race doesn’t go to the lazy or to chance. It goes to the one who plans on winning. You are a winner. Now go do the work to live like one.
Cheering you on!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
“But be sure to live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.” – James 1:22
“And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
“My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9