Posted on September 23, 2005 09:16 AM
I guess this should be a whine but I can't really complain about it. I belong to a gym in my area. I've mentioned how some of the group exercise instructors are like drill sargents. I'm not joking. So far one of them is still on maternity leave, but I bet when the doctor oks her to come back she's coming back with a vengence. Recently I signed up for "Boot Camp" and it's really tough. I'm the slowest and of course the heaviest...everyone's fit already, they don't need this class!
Of course this pain isn't anything like the donating blood episode last week, but it's the kind of pain where you use muscles you rarely or never use. Then I was thinking wow God gave us all these muscles and they all work in an orchestrated way to keep us moving and able to do things. Over time our range of movements have decreased to sitting at a desk in front of a computer, sitting in traffic for many hours a week, or sitting in front of the tv and drinking beer/wine. Basically we're really not using the muscles that we were given to use in all ranges of motion. Today's workout made me realize that without that range of motion your body really doesn't want to do much...and likewise our heart go kaplut. And then what about our brain. We do endless activities where our brain just go kaplut.
Which brings me back to the meaning of self-induced pain. In order for our whole being to get stronger and leaner we need to push it just a little bit harder with a little pain to make the muscles get stronger. Just that little bit of pain makes the muscles overwork and during recovery they heal and get leaner.
Even while playing the piano I'm realizing this. Each time I learn a new scale or chord and just keep playing it over and over again, it's quite painful but then somehow after that 10th time I've played it my fingers know where to go. I can realize now as an adult why I didn't want to practice as a child. It hurt like hell. It was painful. I couldn't articulate that then. Somehow putting ourselves in situations where there's a little bit of pain just makes us stronger and builds our character.
So these self-induced painful exercise is building me up...and likewise the pain we experience emotionally in our life through trauma or stress also builds up and strengthens our character. But the main challenge is how we react to the stress or trauma. Do we step back and try to find an opportunity to learn or grow in a new way? Do we just wallow in a "pity party?" How can we exercise our choices in dealing with the emotional pain? As I did that 30th pushup on my toes, boy was I praying really hard to get through the next set of 30. But I'm also reminded about the pain I suffer is nothing like the pain Christ suffered. I'm reminded that I made a choice to pay someone to step up my workout and I remind myself that in times of emotional pain, God is exercising my spiritual muscles, my character.