Sunday, October 15, 2017

Endure

I recently heard a teaching by Dr. David Jeremiah. He was talking about endurance and sharing what he learned from his personal training session. As a trainer myself, his analogy got my attention. He explained that there are two ways to train your muscles. If you lift heavier weights with fewer repetitions, you grow in strength. If you lift lighter weights, with more repetitions, you grow in endurance. This is true and this is exactly the idea that I’ve been mulling over in the last few weeks. I was not so much applying it to physical training as much as emotional and spiritual training.

When I posed this question to friends, I asked if they’d prefer one big crisis in their life or several sequential stressors over time. Not surprisingly, most chose the one and done approach. They would rather power through one big issue rather than deal with a bunch of smaller persistent issues. Is this true for you? It is for me. It’s so much easier to be strong and brave once to get through a difficult situation. But to get up daily, face multiple stressors, the problems that irk your soul and persist weeks or sometimes months on end…that’s a whole different training that’s happening. It’s working out patience and resilience in you. It’s teaching you how to endure.

Next time you’re training, think about this analogy. For my heavy lifters, think about mixing up your regimen with lower weights and higher reps. For my sprinters and short distance runners, think about running slower and going farther. For everyone else, consider how life’s discomforts, aggravations, and frustrations are giving you a valuable skill set. There is most definitely a place for strength. But when you’ve trained to withstand for the long haul, then there’s nothing in this life that you can’t endure. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

To any who have been hurt in the name of wellness

You should see my Google search history of late. In the last 2 ½ months, I’ve done all kinds of research on healing digestive issues. The latter part of my summer and the first part of fall I’ve been totally consumed by the effects of a stomach bug that just wouldn’t quit. I haven’t been 100% or felt well for a while now. Thank the Lord, after a good report from my doctor Monday, I believe I have turned a corner. In my recovery process, though, I’ve realized some things. Wellness professionals can be self-righteous and judgmental as hell.

Now, because I’m one I’ll venture to say most are well-meaning. I’m sure people promote certain nutritional choices and exercise regimens because they’ve found them personally healing and helpful. Maybe their wellness habits did play a role in curing what ails them. Awesome! Here’s an inconvenient truth though. You can do everything right and still get sick. Your diet and self-care game can be impeccable and you could still suffer pain in this life. It’s not a reality we like to accept. I certainly don’t. But you can be vibrant and able-bodied until one day you’re not.

If that’s the case and health isn’t guaranteed, it seems like we should all be a little more patient and compassionate with each other. I know lots of delightful souls who deal with chronic illness, autoimmune conditions, pain, and various ailments. They didn’t ask to get sick. I’m sure they don’t want to be. Just in my brief season of moderate discomfort I was beside myself. It’s hard to imagine people who deal with sickness every day for years. Yet, many do. Because so many do, let’s skip the judgments about what they did (or didn’t do) to cause their illness. Let’s stop preaching to people about eating in narrow or restrictive ways. Let’s stop shaming people for being where they are, weight or size-wise, especially when they’re hurting. Let’s instead be merciful and kind. Let’s give people hope that relief and healing are possible. And you know what? Sometimes the most healing thing you can do is let someone know you care and they’re not alone.