EXERCISE OF LIFE

I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I love the way it makes me feel when I’m finished and how it contributes to my overall health. I hate it when it’s hard. I’ve been told by a personal trainer that it is important to vary the type of exercise you do and not get stuck in a routine. In a transition time I decided to pull out a childhood friend…my bike. I used to ride for hours around the streets of my small town in Illinois. I reminisced about being 10 years old again-enjoying the liberty of 2 wheels. I loved going fast and letting the wind race through my hair. I would dream of one day driving my own car and pretended my bike was a car. Now before you judge, I used to live in an area of hills, not lovely flat bike trails. The 1984 Olympic bicycle games were held not far from my house, so these were Olympic size hills! I took off and thrilled at the first 15 minutes. The thrill left and my breathing became more labored. My body told me I had enough as I became dizzy. No doubt, my trainer was right in letting me know that different exercises produced different results. Resuming my ride after a brief rest; I stopped 3 more times and questioned if I would make it home alive while walking my bike up the last steep hill. The competitive spirit in me rose up the next day however; and I got on that bike again. I would not let it take me down. I rode the entire trip without stopping and felt very accomplished when I returned home. What was different?  The second day I realized that if I was willing to change and adjust to different circumstances, I could push through. When coasting or going downhill, I relaxed and rested enjoying the scenery. When going uphill, I changed gears instead of sticking to my old ways of keeping the bike in my favorite gear. Simple changes in thoughts and actions gave me success. There would be time to increase the resistance as I built up stamina. I’ve been accused of being hard-headed and strong-willed at times. This is a truth that has worked against me many times. For persistence, strong determination can be a positive attribute. To be teachable, I need to practice humility and accept new ways of thinking and doing things. God wants to teach us better ways that we might persevere and have success at life whether coasting or going uphill. This requires obedience to His will and letting go of old patterns. Psalms 143:10 New Living Translation says, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing”. Be open to His lead. Be teachable. Practice humility. The exercise of life will keep you moving forward with success on firm footing.

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