Why do I dislike exercise? I used this summer to be so faithful to get in shape – going to the gym almost everyday and then walking 3 miles every other day. Now it has all fallen by the wayside. Well, not entirely I still sporadically hit the gym and walk on some days. My oldest daughter is a marathon runner – she will get up at 5:00 in the morning before her husband goes off to work to go run with buddies – rain or shine, sleet or snow. I so admire her. I am not anywhere close to that dedicated. I’d much rather have another cup of tea and sit down to read. (I no longer drink caffeine and I am rather self-righteous about it! I drink mint tea in the morning!)
I know exercise is good for me. But it is a real battle. I take my iPod with me and use my time to praise God but even that is hard when you are doing leg presses or squats and are out of breath. I can praise Him that I have legs that work and lungs that are clear. I know all of that but I still find it difficult to “enjoy” exercise. It is not my first choice. I think my travel interrupts any routine I establish. But is that an excuse? Maybe someone out there has some suggestions. I know there are exercises I can do with bands in a hotel room. I know I can pack my sneakers and go to the hotel’s gym but the sneakers take up so much suitcase room as I try to carry my luggage with me for fear of lost luggage.
Most disciplines in life are hard. We prefer to indulge ourselves. Take a nap. Watch a TV program. Eat that last piece of pie. Chat with a friend rather than spend time praying. None of that is wrong – God gave us all things richly to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17). It’s the balance I find hard. I suppose balance is one of the most important elements in life. To balance leisure with work. To balance family with ministry. To balance faith with works. To balance exercise with rest.
Our culture tells us we can have it all. But somewhere something gets lost. We can lose perspective. Become brittle and harsh or soft and self-indulgent. I don’t want to be either.
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