the walk before the run

picture found here.
After months of not working out, I spent an hour at the gym on Thursday and another hour at the gym on Friday. I considered a routine of elliptical and rowing, the routine I stuck to months ago when I spent regular time at the gym. Instead, I chose to throw caution to the wind and attend my first work out class since high school.

My mother would tell you that I am overly hard on myself. That I expect my results to be as good as perfect the first time, that I do not do well with not doing well. And she would be right.

I know hard work is necessary. I understand that nothing is easy and that if it is easy, it probably is not worth as much as those things which require hard work.

Still, when I walked into the large classroom and waited for class to start, I hoped that I would easily catch on to the steps. That something would miraculously occur that would allow me to move with ease and without worry.

But that didn't happen.

I struggled through the class on Thursday. Sweat dripping down my face. Left ankle throbbing from the injury I had eight yeas ago. Knees cracking and popping and threatening to give out. But I didn't give up. Surrounded by people who seemed to know what they were doing, I didn't give up.

And when I walked out of the gym, I felt accomplished. I spent the thirty minute drive home feeling accomplished and thankful that I hadn't hurt myself. Once I got home, I went from feeling accomplished to hurting and spent the rest of the evening on the couch.

Then, I did it again on Friday. And again, I walked into the same large classroom hoping that I would easily catch on to the steps, expecting the class to be the same as Thursday.

But that didn't happen.

I struggled through the class on Friday. Sweat dripping down my face. Left ankle throbbing even more. Knees cracking and popping with every move. Eyes looking at the clock and mind counting down the minutes to the end of the class. I moved away from the mirror and focused on the steps. I struggled to synchronize my arms with my legs. I wondered again why I was here. I thought about how difficult it was and wondered if it was worth it. But again, I didn't give up.

It's a battle. A battle one minute at a time, a battle one hour at a time, and a battle one day at a time. But it is a battle I will win.

Setting myself on the right track is the first step to fighting the battle. Preparing my mind and my body for the things that I will face. Praying for strength and for guidance. Looking to others for support and accountability because even though this is my own personal battle, I need help.

I'm nervous for this battle. And already a little weary. I wonder if I can do it. And I worry that I won't do it well enough. But then I remember that sine this is my battle there is no one else I need to compare myself to. That instead I need to focus on myself and my steps, not on what someone else is doing.

This is what I struggle with. Both in the gym and in everyday life. Where is everyone else? Why are they there while I am here?

And it's because of choices. Some good and some bad.

So this battle it is another choice. A daily choice. Even an hourly choice.  Just like I have the choice to write every day or not write. And right now, I am making the choices that are right for me.

What choices do you have to make?

(title from "glitter in the air" by pink)

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