The Number One Thing I've Learned at the Gym
I’ve never been one of those girls who worked out just to be fit. I’ve never marveled at the boosts in energy and strength a consistent workout routine produces. No, I’ve always only ever worked out for superficial gains. In the vainest sense, I just want to be snatched.
Every one of my hard core fitness spurts has been sparked by the same catalyst: a bulging gut taking stabs at my confidence. I’d catch myself in a photo and know it was time to get back in the gym and off of the ice cream.
I wake up for the gym begrudgingly. I grit my teeth throughout every workout. And with every calorie cut my happiness levels follow. I hope this sets the proper tone for the revelations that follow. It is within this context that I lead you through some of the revelations a somewhat consistent workout routine has produced in the last 8ish months.
It is only when I think about exercise in the context of my spirituality does it give me the added boost I need to grit through them a little harder. Because honestly, I love food more than I love being fine and I’ve mastered the art of hiding my gut and beating my face.
So, now that I’ve laid out the full brunt of my insecurities, I’ll venture into the silver lining here.
If the gym is my battleground, then it’s developed a resilience that I wouldn’t have expected. It’s caused me to marvel at both my body and the Creator who formed me. When I’m able to push through a workout I find that I’m able to cope with life’s other stressors with the same resolve. I’ve learned that my body is stronger than what I could have imagined; I am stronger than what I could have imagined.
In the midst of challenging workouts, I’ve come to adopt this affirmation that alone makes the entire practice worthwhile:
When I quit mid-workout, I rob myself of the opportunity to learn how to navigate painful situations in life that I cannot quit from.
It almost always produces one more minute or one more rep out of me even when I don’t think I have it to give. Exercise has proven that everything I need is already inside of me and I just need to allow myself to work to uncover it without discouragement.
It has taught me that there’s always room to try again and come back harder, in the next set, in the next couple of minutes, the next workout -- my body snaps back and allows me to try again.
Maybe I’ll never be into fitness for the heck of it. And maybe being snatched will always be the primary motivator for getting to the gym and laying off the chips. What I know for sure though is that the gym has allowed me to connect with myself on a deeper level and that was an unexpected delight.