Take Your Workout and Shove It!
This is one of those days when I feel like going into hibernation and doing nothing. My body is sore from my Saturday afternoon Jiu-jitsu/Thai Boxing session. I have a big scratch on my left wrist and a sore feeling in my right wrist. Imagine the Looney Tunes cloud when a couple characters get into a scuffle and all you see is a big moving cloud with an occasional foot here, hand there; that was essentially how it went. I got choked a couple times, one guy dug his big chin into my temple (not commonly done in sparring), I was dead tired. So today, I feel like putting a nice big pillow on my desk and going to sleep. I don't feel like doing work, I don't feel like lifting weights, I don't feel like kicking any pads, I don't feel like getting choked, none of that crap >:(.
Naturally, I went on Facebook this morning as I continued through my cranky, zombie-like approach to Monday morning at work. I scrolled down and saw a post in my news feed: "Starting the week out right with a hard workout....wootwoot!" *Gasp*. There are a few things that happen when you're in my state and you see a post like this. First off, I'll say that Facebook is notorious for these types of situations. Whether you're single and you see one more friend newly married, you've worked an entire summer of 14 hour days and you see someone in Hawaii, or you're hungry and you see a picture of that delicious lunch from some restaurant you've never heard of. So a few things happen when you're in my state and you see a post like this. Denial. You sit there thinking how anyone on this day could possibly get to the gym, especially in the morning? You feel bad so everyone must feel bad. On this day, on this morning, it's just not possible...for anyone. Curiosity. You must ask them how they're doing what they're doing; there must be some sort of secret that today, this gut-wrenching day, they're going to the gym. Guilt and justification. It goes something like: "they're working out? I should be working out, but I'm sore. NO, I have a blog about motivation, I should be motivated regardless, there must be something wrong with me. Seriously though, a guy dug his chin into my temple and I got choked out with someone's legs, argh life sucks." The last thing that happens, at least in my case, is a search for peace. Being in this state of limbo is not okay, and I must either decide that I'm not going to the gym or that I am going to the gym, and I must be okay with either. Right about now, I realize that what is going on inside of me is a battle between what I want to do and what I feel like doing (sounds like Romans 7). Besides realizing the evil of getting on Facebook, I may have just learned something.
What I do is not about me, it's about Jesus and my relationship with Him. I'm not morbidly obese, so I don't NEED to go to the gym or do martial arts. I'm not some jock who needs the recognition of people around me to gawk at the weight I'm throwing up. I don't need to get to a MMA session and knock someone out during sparring. So what I'm left with is my identity as a follower of Christ. And that's great! As a follower of the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, I am following One who didn't have to do what He did; but He did it anyway. He humbly surrendered Himself and all His "Heavenly muscle" to go to the cross, as His Father requested of Him...and He rose again! He didn't just die, He suffered excruciating pain to save me from the penalty of greed, lust, vanity, sloth, wrath, envy, gluttony, and everything in between. On one hand, the Father tasked Him with carrying this out, on the other hand, He knew I needed a savior and He loved me. So an important part of this situation is to know who I am and why I do what I do. Has God tasked me with lifting weights or doing martial arts? No. He's called me to serve Him with humility in all things. I workout like I do so that I can experience God's grace: You younger men...clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time; 1 Peter 5-6. It's not about lifting weights or learning to fight; it's about going even when I don't want to and putting in the highest effort. Why? Simply because it's a discipline that can bring glory to God. Like I said before, I don't need to, but as God has gifted me physically, I surrender this gift in hope that I will have the experience to surrender myself when it really counts. Whether its helping someone on a trip, giving grace to my wife, facing a challenge, facing temptation, etc. With all this being said, I'm reminded how I am not of this world. I must be transformed by the renewing of my mind and refuse to be just a consumerist puppet of corporate America. I don't need to find my joy in striving to be in the likeness of an underwear model or a guy that everyone desires. I don't need to buy certain clothes or look a certain way in order to feel good about myself. I spent 11 years of my life doing that in middle school, high school, and college, searching for who I am, and in June 2007 I finally found it. I am an adopted son of God through the Holy Spirit; and I find my joy in striving to be in the likeness of Jesus Christ.
So I should know my body, know my spirit, and know my limits. If I'm sore, I have the choice to stay home or go to the gym, and there's nothing wrong with me staying home. But to know where I'm at physically, emotionally, and spiritually; and being willing to seek God is what makes the difference. I guess in a way, it's good to see what other people are doing (perhaps Facebook is not completely evil). Sometimes a little bit of discomfort is good; it allows you to re-evaluate who you are, what your goals are, and where your motivations are coming from. But whatever you do, know that God is waiting for you to experience His everlasting grace and love.
Press On, Baby!
(From Jul 16, 2012)