How to go to the gym and hate it less? P.S. best friends are included.

Let’s face it gals, we are busy.  We’ve got a lot going on from working a full day to chauffeuring tiny humans to every after school activity that humanity can name (not to mention feeding them).  I know our time is precious, so any time I can integrate aspects of my life, I’m game.  So mixing bestie time and exercise just seems like a no brainer for me.

I have wanted to do a boot camp for a while now. After attempting for the last decade to will myself to love exercise, I am still trying to figure out some form of physical activity that would make me love (or at least like) voluntarily moving my body.  You see, in order to not have a full out national debate with myself about going to the gym, I need at least two of three things:

  1. I need some kind of goal. The easiest time I had going to the gym regularly was leading up to my wedding. I didn’t even have to wrestle with myself each day—it just was. I’ve got a pretty significant birthday coming in December, so my goal is to feel the best I’ve felt in my adulthood by December 13, 2016. Notice, I resisted setting a weight loss goal. This has never happened before.
  2. I need a bestie. If I have a partner waiting for me at the track or the gym I. Will. Be. There. You know because I suffer from that nawing, obliger, I cannot ever let anyone down. Thanks, pastoral ministry. I am the PTA mom even though I have no children. You may have this condition as well if you’ve ever made an artisanal cheese plate for yourself as practice for hosting.
  3. A Netflix obsession. Come on, make a few more “Making a Murderer(s),” and I’ll qualify for a body building competition by December.

I’m serious. Please make more. I need to know.

Back to workout goals.  So finally (to my grand delight) my bestie Cathy got tired of my, “come on, let’s do something together that’s fitness” attach whiney bitmoji messages, and she sent me a link to a fitness boot camp for moms. While I considered resisting based on my current non-mom status, I thought, “well, with these hips, no one will ever know.” And, confession: they never have. Boom.

So sign up we did. Fully anticipating to hate it, I awoke at 5:40am to a still sleeping husband, willed myself up, brushed my teeth, grabbed my coffee and headed toward what I knew would be terrible. The whole way there, I whimpered like the literal baby bear I am when it comes to sleep. Let’s face it; I’m the worst.

But…I was doing it for Cathy. Right?! She definitely wasn’t doing it because I begged and begged.

Well, the class was…awful. It was more than hard; it was the absolute worst. I mean, I definitely got in a great workout, but the instructor just walked around telling people, “great job-keep it up!” I loathed her spirit and the fact that she wasn’t suffering alongside her women.

“Excuse me lady, are you going to work out too? I feel like you are phoning it in—like why would I buy a car from someone who said they liked cars, but I never saw drive one.” I digress.

I hated every single moment of it, but then at the end, I jumped in the car, and, without hesitation, we both said, “see ya tomorrow?” “yep!”

We texted throughout the day later—

“I’m proud of us.”

“We did it.”

“You know, it feels awesome to look at the clock and know we’ve put in the hardwork already.”

I always said this about yoga, I heeemm and hawwww about going, but at the end I feel like I’m renewed—restored in a way. I can’t believe I ever hesitated for a moment. Especially since I’ve never said more than two words to my yoga instructor, but I talk about him as if he knows my soul. “I bet Bob is sad I haven’t been there in a while,” I confide in my yoga companion, Kate.

But the next time before class, I feel the same way. “Bob never loved me…why should I bother going?”

This is often how I feel about church actually (and, shhhhh…I’m the pastor). It can be hard to put the effort in—to become disciplined and invest in the work. I mean, what if we actually see results? I know that hard work can pay off; I know that when you sacrifice, you can accomplish goals. So why is it so hard to make it a priority and stick with it? I still struggle with discipline, but I know that consistency makes a huge difference.

And when it comes to new disciplines, I believe that if we are grace-filled toward ourselves when we fail, and if we allow ourselves to not throw in the towel when we have a momentary slip up, then it becomes a little easier to forgive ourselves and continue the journey.

The other piece, I think, and I am convinced even more since I’ve been going to bootcamp (drumroll) for two months is community.  Yep, y’all I stuck with it.  When we fail, and we inevitably want to give up, it is crucial to have that supportive group of individuals around to remind us that the path isn’t what makes us worthy.  God has already done that work.  God has made you worthy because God made you.  This mantra has repeatedly sustained me when I could not sustain myself.

So to those who lift my arms when I cannot (sometimes literally now because, wsourstrawsell, bootcamp is hard), I am grateful.

Thank you, Cathy, for dragging me to boot camp, and thank you for feeding me sour straws. I pray that I may return the favor.

Have a great Thursday! and feel free to connect via facebookinstagramtwitter, or pinterest.

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