I thought I was in a rut. Maybe I was wrong…
Several years ago, we started doing a fall family beach trip– mid-October when the shorelines aren’t so crowded, the sun is still warm enough to give a sun-kissed glow, but not hot enough to make the babies miserable, and the rental rates are just a little easier on the pocket book. It was delightful.
Over the summer, in desperate need of a getaway and realizing it had been a few years since we’d gone, I sent out the text, “Let’s do a beach trip. Who’s in?”
The plans were made, and I decided right then and there to summon my will of steel. Months ago, I had enlisted in an online home fitness program, and this was as good a time as any to buckle down my wishy washy (non)completion of the regimens and get to it. I had over 100 days to go. Surely, I could pull myself together in 100 days.
Then it was 80 days.
Then it was eleven days. Having made no progress in my attempts to get a handle on my fitness journey, I stepped on the scale. I officially weighed the most I had ever weighed in my whole entire life with the exception of being fully pregnant… and even then, I wasn’t that far off.
I was devastated. I was disappointed. I was determined.
I had eleven days to whip my body into a teensy bit better shape than before. I wasn’t looking for miracles here. But something had to be done. I made the decision. “I am going to do two a day workouts until we leave.” I said it out loud. I texted it to sweet husband. I forced myself to believe that I would actually commit to it and not break my commitment.
Day One passed. I woke up early and stayed up late and completed both workouts.
Day Two passed. Sweet husband called that he would be coming home from working away. “You can’t let me get off track. I’ve got to do these workouts.”
Day Three. He watched me wide-eyed as I actually did wake up at 5am to complete the first round.
Day Four… Day Five… Day Six… Day Seven…
All. Eleven. Days. Done.
Twenty-two workouts in eleven days. The last six weeks of an eight week program in ELEVEN DAYS. I had never, ever seen my will power come through for me like it did in those days.
And after eleven days, I got back on the scale. Suitcases packed and beach ready, I stepped on to find that I had lost exactly zero pounds. I had determined myself and dedicated my time and forced myself forward when I didn’t feel like going anymore. I had not taken no for an answer. I was not swayed by any excuse. I showed up, and I gave it my best effort and I pushed past my feelings and persevered toward my purpose.
And I lost ZERO pounds.
(Side Note: I am aware this is not the smart way to fitness. I am aware that losing weight takes time. I am aware of ALL. THE. THINGS. But come on… not even one single pound?? Work with me here, universe!)
However, just like He always does, God spoke a simple whisper to my heart, Maybe it’s not about what you’ve lost. Maybe it’s about what you’ve gained.
You see, in those eleven days, my focus was set. I realized I could do hard things. I realized there were enough hours in the day. I was aiming toward my personal goals and ambitions and doing what I had to do to push toward that even when I didn’t feel like it. Even when I didn’t feel good enough. Even when I didn’t know if I’d find the time. I kept pushing.
I kept doing tricep pushups when my arms were so weak that I barely had any range of motion, and I pumped out twenty in a row on day ten. Y’all, I hate tricep pushups. But I kept at it. Every day. Twice a day. I kept moving just a little bit forward, and I kept getting better. I found a deeper motivation. I saw the purpose in the perseverance.
Because you see, maybe a rut isn’t really a rut at all. Maybe a rut is simply a roadblock we haven’t yet been willing to push through. It’s easy to feel like we are stuck down in the mud. It’s easy to say we will start tomorrow. It’s easy to look forward at a goal we hope to achieve, but all we can see right now is the rut.
Are you willing to start right now in this moment? To not expect of yourself perfection, but to set your eyes on perseverance? To accept no excuse, to push past your feelings, and to get around the roadblock?
You can, you know. Today, you may only have a little tiny range of motion. But you’re moving. And that’s all it takes. And maybe tomorrow, you’ll move a little more. And then a little more. And before long, you’ll find yourself out of the rut, around the road block, and running toward the goal—the high calling set before you.
Keep pushing, you’re stronger than you think…