Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12: 1
So this week is mid-way and mindset challenging. It is when you want to see the changes of six weeks and know that there is another six to come. If the progress isn’t quite as fast it is easy to give away to the mindset. “Wow, getting healthy takes a lot of time.” “There are so many other obligations that I could be fulfilling.” “I’m tired, it hurts, and the one that causes the biggest trip? It barely feels like it is worth it.” These thoughts happen ALL the TIME to the best of us because it happens to EVERYONE, when challenges in life pop up, that negative voice wants to steal our joy and our efforts and point a very specific mirror and the down times, the pain, the tiredness, the frustration. We have to let go of all the weights that drag us down, for many of us it is our own actual weight. I read a statistic once that over 2/3 adult population OVER 66.6% is considered overweight and obese. WOW! That is mind-blowing. There are a lot of reasons how this happens why it persists but with changes we can change this statistic drastically. It’s going to take work, its going to take truth, and probably the most challenging in our modern society of hitting the quick easy instant gratification – its going to take time.
I really like variety and enjoy many of the cardio machines with different options. My two least favorite would be the stairs (Can I be honest? Sometimes, in college I chose DIFFERENT electives to avoid climbing to the third floor. Not a fan of steps.) So why get on a machine and the best way to describe it is to climb up an escalator going down. It is challenging, and frustrating, and daunting. So I have a health challenge going with some friends we talk about different ways to work on fitness, nutrition, and the mindset and its fun with lots of variety and a friendly competition. One of my friends is a flight attendant and she will walk up to 7 miles in a day IN HEELS! And then for her workout (which by the way I would count 7 miles in any form as my workout for the day) following her work day she will get on the stairclimber for 45 minutes to an hour! Wow. That is inspiring. ..At least I thought so. I offered up a challenge. Because of her dedication I would complete 20 minutes on the stairclimber this week. It might take four attempts at five minutes but I was going to do it! And you know what? I did Monday night for 25 MINUTES! Sure it was slow and the machine kept wanting to amp it up to sprint mode but I would quickly adjust down to level one. I climbed a total of 666 steps and 42 floors. Wow! I have attempted this machine one other time years ago and was dying after five minutes!
So the other dreaded machine straight up treadmill. I would so rather spend my cardio time “playing” on one of the other machines. But we have a 5K coming up and probably should start attempting to work on jogging at least. We had our group meeting last night. It was rainy so we used the cardio machines. Some on bikes due to ankle and foot issues, I think one tried the elliptical (the place was packed and we were lucky to get any machine) and the rest of us were on treadmills doing a program called Sprint 8. The treadmill has you Sprint thirty seconds and then “recover” for 1 minute and thirty seconds. I was going to first attempt Beginner but the sprint speed was a 2 mile hour which is about a walk. So I gulped down my fear and tried the lowest intermediate level. The trainer assured me I could turn down the speed at any time. But part of this journey includes pushing ourselves outside our “comfort” zone. Since a couple of months ago my comfort zone included tv, couch, and chips. So I started the warm up and there was a moment of terror as the machine ticked down Ramping it up as the incline moved to 4 and the speed went from 2 mph to 5 mph. I don’t know if I have ever successfully amped up a treadmill to 5 anything. And for thirty seconds I Sprinted! Me! No hands on the rails but pumping at my sides like a runner! And how I loved how the machine counted down to the recovery. I was much more prepared the second sprint and even the third where the sprint moved up to 5.2 mph and I continued to pump my arms and SURVIVE! Not once did I fall off the machine. On Sprint 6 I believe the machine moved to 5.5 mph. Yeah I felt the difference of that. I started to hold on with ten seconds to spare of the sprint. Sprint 7 it was about halfway that I held the machine. And Sprint 8 I just grabbed the railing but I FINISHED it. I ran a total of four minutes at 5+ mph. I sprinted and survived. I have been announcing it to pretty much everyone. I am in shock, deliriously overjoyed shock. I ran. On purpose, towards a goal and not away from a challenge. That is HUGE! I sprinted – I encourage everyone to step slightly outside of their comfort zone and try a challenging feat. The accomplishment far outweighs the fear and the nervousness. Good luck and know you are stronger than you think, and faster than you believer. You got this!!!