I Hate Exercise. Honest.

A lovely friend posed a question on a Facebook post of mine earlier today, and it really threw me for a loop.  I don’t think I’ve been earnestly asked this question before, and I had to think about this one for a bit…

How long did it take you to WANT or LOVE to workout?

So, here’s the honest truth–I don’t. *GASP*

Pick up your jaw.  I’ll explain.

When that alarm goes off every morning at 4am, my first prayer before I open my eyes and my feet hit the floor is simply this, “God, I submit myself wholly to you today.  I desire to be obedient to Your great will for me–guide my steps, my choices, and my thoughts in alignment with Your plans.  Help me to be a reflection of You in all I do.”

Sounds great, right?  Probably the most formal and eloquent prayer I ever pray each day.  I know I fall short of it often, but it’s also the most sincere prayer that I ever pray as well.  But once these words are uttered, it’s game on–it’s not my show anymore, the day is an act of obedience.

This is no different than that day when I submitted this whole journey to God, when I came to my breaking point and begged Him to show me what was going to change in my life–but I knew something was.  I never anticipated weight loss, endurance sports, healing of my mind and heart, and spiritual growth and stretching beyond my own human comprehension….kind of like God’s version of, “Here, hold my beer.”  (groan…terrible joke)

My life right now is made up of goals–minuscule and momentous, every single moment is dedicated to taking the next right action–putting one foot in front of the other.  When I started down this path of healthier habits, it started with better eating habits–exercise didn’t even enter the picture at first.  Remember, when I started to exercise, I couldn’t even walk to the end of the street and back without wanting to die.  It was just obedient actions…they just happened.  I can’t explain it.  They just did.

Now fast forward a couple years to the point where I’ve reached a point of questionable sanity (HA!) in my endurance goals…I can honestly tell you, I still don’t like to workout, but I love it.  I realize that makes absolutely zero sense at all.

I’m a lazy person by nature.  I’m not a morning person–like, even a little bit, yet, I willingly, without complaint (most of the time), get up at 4am and engage in whatever is assigned on the calendar for the day that is preparing me for the next event or goal that I’m aiming for.  Why?  Well, obedience as outlined, but also–I’ve found a passion I’ve never experienced before outside of music when I was in high school/college.  I have a drive and a love for running/triathlon disciplines and to go further and farther that I can’t really put words to.

I have come to believe that the passion I’ve found in running/triathlon disciplines is the blessing of my obedience on this journey.  I’ve been faithful every single day.  Some days better than others, but I submitted myself to God in a very raw way that I never have before.  I asked Him to work in and through me because I was at the end of my knowledge and strength in so many different areas of my life, and at the risk continuing to go overly spiritual here, I had a very real encounter with the Holy Spirit in which I haven’t often experienced in my faith walk but a few other times of extreme certainty–mostly around my calling to full time ministry and my relationship with my husband.  This passion is my reward.

Working out–exercising–is an act of worship.  Some days it’s fun, some days it’s a learning experience, some days it’s painful, some days it’s therapy, some days it’s anger management, some days it’s communion with God, and some days it’s my opportunity to express my frustration with God and hammer things out.  But at the end of the day, none of it is about me–I asked God to take over a long time ago.  He has, and I’m just enjoying the ride.  And it is pretty darn cool, I’m excited to see where it goes next!

(…and I still don’t think I’ve made a lick of sense, LOL)

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