Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thoughtful About . . . What You Put In

My sister recently talked me into joining her zumba class, something I've resisted when she mentioned it months ago. Why? Because I prefer my humiliation to be private, and exercising and I have a love-hate relationship that's heavier on hate than love, LOL. But I finally gave in and have gone with her twice now. So, yes, you're about to get life lessons from zumba class. ;-)

My exercising habit tends to look like this: for a few months, I'll exercise five to six days a week, half an hour a day. Then I'll get a cold/sinus infection/flu/other malady that forces me to stop for a few days. And then I'll just never start again, because not doing it is just so much nicer, ha ha. And that'll last until I pause to think, "Oh, man, I'm turning 30 in August, and I look like it!" Then I'll start again.

When I've exercised on my own in recent years, I've done the dance-based programs. So going to zumba wasn't quite as humiliating as I expected, since I knew most of the moves, they were just in new arrangements. And being in a class with a dozen other woman of varying ages and sizes and levels of expertise has really hammered home one of things I discovered while going it alone.

You only get out what you put in.

When I first started doing these DVDs, I went through the motions. I did all the steps. But not with the abandon of the instructors. And frankly, I didn't see much by way of results. But after a while, that became not-hard enough that I could ramp it up a bit. And that is when I started seeing a difference. Looking around at my new class, I've noticed much the same thing. The ones working the hardest, sweating the most, with the reddest faces, are the ones in better shape.

Now, there are certainly days I'm not up for that in a workout class. But what about life? How often do we just go through the motions, doing the right steps, but are unwilling to break a proverbial sweat? If you're like me, you have those days too. Some days, that's all you can manage, and that's fine. Doing what you have to do without any umph is better, now and then, than just taking a day off.

The problem is when it becomes habit. When, day after all, you bounce instead of jump. You walk instead of run. You sigh instead of sing.

I've been there. And you know what the problem with it is? You never see results. You never get better. You're putting in the bare minimum, so that's what you're getting out. And you know the only way to break free of that? Ramp it up. Put in more. Push yourself, make yourself keep going through the side-stitches, through the sore muscles, through the breathlessness. Work harder. Give it your all.

Sometimes I've been so caught up in the blahs, so exhausted by life, so in need of rejuvenation that it feels like I can't possibly do more. But you know what? I was wrong. I could, once I opened my spirit to the Spirit and let Him whisper His wind into me. Who needs their own breath, after all, when you can have His?

I'm by no means perfect at this (in either life or working out), but it's a truth that's hit home these past two weeks as I push myself to give more than I thought I could in zumba. Makes me wonder what more I could do in life, too, if I just pushed past the blahs...


  1. Oh man. Hit me right in the gut with this one, I definitely needed this - thanks, dear friend.

    1. Not my best punctuation usage :) Stephanie shouldn't talk on the phone and type at the same time...

    2. Quite welcome, friend of mine. I needed it too, LOL.

  2. I love this! I needed to hear this today, thanks!