Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stick to it

I like this essay by Rick Hamlin that appeared in Guideposts magazine.

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
Isaiah 35:3

Six years ago when I first started going to the gym, I turned to a couple of exercise magazines for guidance. They spelled out different routines for every week. Okay, I’ll give this a go, I thought. Three sets on that machine, a few reps on this one. Crunches, push-ups, pullups. I went to the high bar to try the latter. “Two sets of ten,” the magazine said. I grabbed the cold bar and dangled from it like a monkey. “One, two, three . . .” I grunted and groaned. After three and a half, I had to give up, dropping from the bar in defeat. “I can’t do it!” I barked at the magazine with its glossy photos of incredibly sleek and impossibly toned models doing what I couldn’t do.

I stayed away from pull-ups after that. But every once in a while I’d try to do just a few. And then maybe some more. On my jog through the park, I ran past a high bar in the playground. Do a couple of pull-ups at the end of each loop, I challenged myself. And even though I was older and not apparently in any better shape, I got in the practice of doing two sets of pull-ups every time I jogged. Somehow over the years the number of pullups in each set increased. Four, five, six, seven, eight. Finally it dawned on me that I could do eight pull-ups at once! Count ’em, eight of those impossible-to-do, don’t-ask-me-to-try pull-ups. It makes me wonder how many other things I’ve told myself I simply can’t do that I might be able to . . . even at my age.

I’ll let you know when I get to 10.

Lord, give me the persistence and determination to reach goals I never knew I could reach.

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