"I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free."
"Why are your legs so wide?" my six year old asked curiously. Her words pierced my heart and sent me into a tailspin of self loathing that stole my joy for the rest of the evening. The answer to my daughter's question is quite simple. I HATE exercise. The aches. The pains. The sweat. I loathe it all. There are literally hundred of things I would prefer to do rather than exercise. Though brutally honest, the words of my little girl effectively motivated me to seek a new path.
But, where was I to start? And how would I keep myself focused on my goals? I didn't have the answers. But I knew it was time to get moving. So, I dried my eyes, threw away all the chocolate, and began to ponder my fitness predicament with new eyes.
The Bible tells us that God has often used forty days to bring about change. Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert. Noah watched it rain for 40 days. Initially, Moses led the Israelites through the desert for 40 days. Last December, I turned 40years old. As I pondered the significance of "40" I came up with a plan.
It is time for a change. Gone are the days when I can sit idly by and ignore the needs of my body. After all, "my body is a temple" and I need to treat it as such. (1Corinthians 3:16) I have tried before and failed to remain motivated. When the heat of summer or the cold winds of winter set in, I quickly abandoned my best laid plans. So, I have decided to try a fitness experiment for the next forty days.
Each day, rain or shine, I will run. I have no illusions. My hope is that at the end of the journey I have a new attitude about exercise. I don't expect it to be easy to keep my commitment. Even if my attitude remains the same, perhaps a new habit will take root in my heart. Perhaps, if I stick to the plan, I will begin to see exercise as a habitual necessity, much like folding laundry or washing dishes. I probably won't love the process, but perhaps the results will be enough to keep me on track.
So, I am five days into my journey. It has occurred to me, that perhaps, this was the wrong time of year to take on this challenge. It is, after all, summer in Texas. For all of you less fortunate folks who do not happen to be living in the Lonestar State, summer in Texas is a whole new kind of HOT! My legs ache and my joints are stiff. Yet, despite my many grievances, I dutifully continue to step out onto the pavement each day. I still hate to sweat! But, my I-Pod is charged. My shoes are laced. And my mind is made up. Forging boldly ahead, I am ready to run along the path of His commands to find a healthier me. Who knows? Maybe I will even get my legs back!