Faith, Health, Life, running, workout

Sweat: The Smell of Success

Adam calls me crazy, and although to this point, I have only found one person who agrees with me (Yay, Corinne, I knew Adam was wrong to say I was only one who thought this way), I have to say that I love the feeling of being gross, sweaty, red (ok, maybe not really red), and exhausted from a good workout.
How many of you agree?

…. anyone?

Just think. All that is worth anything must be fought for. Anything that is worth the dedication of your life must first be worthy of the dedication of your death.
War is like that. Battles must be fought if one is to win the war.
Our spiritual lives are like that. Trials must come in order for growth to be accomplished.

Get the idea?

My desire to be fit, to have the running endurance I desire, to be dedicated to running and cycling and perhaps even accomplish a triathlon–I’ll be honest.., the desire to have the bikini body I want– all this must first come at a cost. Hard work, that heavy downpour of sweat, those tired muscles, and long workouts must precede the results I desire.

I would be foolish to think I could win a war without fighting a single battle.
I would be foolish to think I begin to grow spiritually without a trial, and I would be foolish to expect the body I desire and the athleticism I would need to accomplish my goals without first struggling through single workouts and runs.

So, I work out 5 times a week. I work my 48 hrs at Tim Horton’s feeding glutinous Americans (and Canadians, Indians, and Asians too) their coffee and donuts and bagels–a conflict to my heart and passions for sure– and from there, go run 5 or so miles.

Don’t say “wow” or “What dedication!” It’s no cause for celebration.

So hard is dedication.
So easy is quitting.
So hard it is to make the decision to go running after a 10-hour frustrating day at work.
So easy it is to avoid the gym, to run “tomorrow”.
So hard is it to keep going in my run when I’m physically tired and my to-do list grows longer by the mile.
So easy it is to stop mid-stride, to declare “good enough”, “far enough”, “hard enough”.

The results are even harder to see. The discouragement even easier to succumb to.

I admit impatience.
I admit frustation.
I admit that working out has been a humbling, revealing experience.

Dedication in this area has been both a source of pride and a cause for humility for me. Dedication in one area often reveals a lack of dedication in another.

I have found myself mildly obsessed. I run 5 nights a week. Missing more than 2 nights a week is something I will not allow. It is far too easy to stop. It is far too easy to put off ’til tomorrow, so finally being at this place is something I must fight for.  I will not allow myself to slip to living carelessly again. I will not. I cannot.  Obviously, if you can ascertain anything from this post so far, it is that I am passionate about being active, healthy, and fit.

My moment of humility: can you hear that passion in my writing when I discuss the things of the Lord?  Am I more impassioned about my physical body and physical health than I am for the spiritual health of my soul?

I’ve begun praying as I run, focusing my mind not on footsteps and mile markers as much as on my relationship with Christ. As running seems to forever drive into me just how limited, weak, and mortal that I am physically, I pray that God will use this passion to facilitate spiritual growth in me as well.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

5 thoughts on “Sweat: The Smell of Success”

  1. Awesome post, Ashley. I couldn’t agree more and I also have started hitting the treadmill on weekdays after work and I have to say it feels good and gross to me too! Once I finish my couch to 5K, I’ll incorporate the prayer too! Thanks!

  2. dog gone it ashley!!! i just had to read that! NOW i have to take my new years resolution to christ and REALLY do it…….no more cafiene(coffee and pepsi—-ouch!) AND no more TIMBITS.Ive got to drop 70 lbs this years,get back on my blood type diet(felt so great on it)get off all the wheat and gluten products……….start eating all the lean meats and salmon and veggys+fruit that made such a difference 2 yrs ago.

  3. Yeah, I like the feeling after exercising hard – worn out but so invigorated. Tired but refreshed. Hot, sweaty, gross feeling – I kinda like and kinda not. I guess I am a typical girl and don’t like the “sweaty, gross” feeling so much, but at the same time, I feel so good after exercising, I don’t mind.

    That’s great that you are exercising so diligently, but my personal two cents is don’t get TOO obsessed! 🙂 I also have a tendency to be obsessive about things, and at one point I was taking exercising to an overly-obsessive point. It was not healthy for me. I felt a lot better when I moderated. I think everybody has different exercise limits and goals (different amounts that their body can take, and different levels that they want to take it to). For me at this point, my goal is to at least just not sit on my bum all day – get out and take a walk or a jog! But I don’t have any strict goal in mind. Maybe that will change, and I can understand people who do have more of a schedule/routine/strictness about it since, after all, it’s hard to make yourself get in shape if you don’t have some kind of routine that you make yourself stick to.

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