Getting Stronger, Even if it Kills Me
By Kim Stokely -
A young friend (I now consider anyone under the age of 40 to be young) recently posted on Facebook, “It’s amazing how running makes you feel better. I love endorphins!”
I stared at the post for several seconds. I reread it two or three times to make sure I understood her meaning. Then I posted the following snarky comment in response, “I can safely say that running has never made me feel that way. Although I always feel better after I exercise, I think it’s my body’s way of thanking God that I’m still alive!”
I hate to run. Actually, I hate all exercise. Hate is probably too gentle a word. I despise it with every fiber of my being. I have nightmares of passing out on our elliptical machine only to be found hours later by one of my children while the pedals mysteriously keep turning and whacking me in the head. It’s quite frightening. It reminds me of the phrase, “That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” I can only hope my battle with the elliptical is making me stronger, because most days, I feel like I’m losing the war.
My loathing of exercise is one of the reasons why I hate action movies. They depress me. I know I’d be the person left behind to be captured by the terrorists or become dinner for the aliens because I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the group. And those scenes of the heroine clutching onto a cliff or window ledge by her fingers? I cringe every time, not because I’m scared the heroine won’t hold on, but because I know, if that was me, I’d be plummeting to my demise in a matter of seconds.
Why is it so often the things that are best for us are the hardest to do? It’s far easier to stay in bed an extra hour in the morning than get up and exercise. And how come we can stay up an extra half hour to watch a television show, but opening up our Bible before going to bed is so difficult? I think it’s because the things that are the best for us, don’t provide us with instant rewards. An extra hour in bed makes that morning a little easier to handle. Making the effort to exercise means working harder each day for a long time before our bodies begin to transform into leaner, healthier machines. The laughter a half-hour comedy show provides is an instant distraction to the troubles of the day. Spending a half-hour in God’s word means taking the time to examine our hearts in the light of His truth, and letting it work its way into the very fabric of our souls.
The best things in life aren’t free, and they certainly aren’t easy, but they are worth the effort. And so I’m off to face the instrument of torture, I mean the elliptical. Wish me luck. And kids, if I’m not in the kitchen when you get home from school, please make sure I haven’t passed out while getting stronger.