I don’t like to exercise.
I don’t like anything about it.
Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried walking. I’ve tried jogging. I’ve tried Zumba and tennis and swimming and weightlifting. I’ve tried it with friends and alone, with the cute workout clothes and without (without cute clothes . . . uh . . . not without any clothes.) I’ve tried and tried to find something I enjoy doing, which requires an elevated heart rate. I just don’t like to exercise.
I do not like it, Sam I am.
Actually, Renae I am, but that didn’t sound nearly as clever.
But despite the fact that exercise isn’t my favorite pastime, I do it anyway. Every morning when it’s cold and wet and nasty outside, I pop in my low-impact aerobic video and follow the peppy, fit, cute little instructor in hopes that someday I, too, will be peppy and fit and cute. And little.
And when it’s nice out, I lace up my sorta new Sketchers or my really old New Balance sneaks, depending on my mood and my outfit, and head to the outdoor gym—AKA the front yard—where I jog around the house a few times, do pushups on the retaining wall, and crunches on the well pump. Sometimes, when I’m certain no neighbors can see, I even do the chicken dance, just to get the roosters crowing.
I’m disappointed, though. Every day when I’m finished, I look in the mirror and still see me. Jiggles and all.
But even with the less-than-stellar results, I know I’m better off exercising. I’ve tried to give it up entirely, and the results weren’t pretty.
I gained weight. A lot of it.
I felt tired and worn out.
The arthritis that runs in my family made itself known, loudly and proudly. Talk about an inheritance. I’d have much rather had a silver tea set.
So in spite of my disdain, in spite of my loathing, I make myself exercise. I know it’s good for me. In the long run, it will make me more productive in every area of my life.
It makes sense that in order to be my best physically, I have to do some things I don’t enjoy. Like take medicine, when I’m sick. Like eating more vegetables, less ice cream. Like exercise. I get it.
I don’t like it, but I get it.
But I have a harder time applying the same concept to my spirit. If I want to be the best person I can be, with the healthiest, most attractive personality possible, I need to exercise self-discipline.
That means speaking only kind words, when sarcasm is easier.
That means showing forgiveness, when holding a grudge feels more natural.
That means turning the other cheek, and returning kindness for others’ rude behavior.
It means encouraging others when I feel discouraged . . . showing patience when I’m out of time and on my last nerve . . . really listening to the person right in front of me, when I’d rather be on Facebook.
I know. I hear you groan. But we gotta do it. If we don’t, we’ll end up with flabby, broken-down, arthritic spirits that nobody wants to be around.
The good news is, our souls don’t age the same way our bodies do. While our physical appearance tends to get wrinkled and worn over time, our spirits have no such boundaries. When we exercise the proper self-control and faithfully work out our inner selves, we’ll only get more beautiful with time. With a little hard work and self-discipline, we can have the most comely soul around.
“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” 1 Peter 3:4 (esv).
For more like this, check out The Breaking Point from Armonia Publishing. 🙂 Right now it’s on Amazon’s matchbook special, which means if you buy the paperback, you can get the e-book for just $2.99. That means you can have one for yourself and one as a gift. Great for Mother’s Day . . . just saying. 😉