So, one of the many benefits that have come from taking a good look at who I am is that I have a better understanding of what I like and don't like. Sounds a little ridiculous that at my age, I am just figuring this out, I know.
One of my biggest "ah-ha!"s was realizing that finding a form of exercise that fit my personality was just as important as finding one that fit my schedule. I have been a member of 24 hour fitness for years. I didn't enjoy going. Which is why I didn't go. Which was why I was fat. Funny how one follows the other there, huh?
So it all started when I contacted a friend of a friend who is a (fantastic) personal trainer. She was my safe place to face the brunt of my negative self image. I think back to our one on one time and remember how ashamed I was of my body, and of myself. It was so hard for me to do my exercises, physically because I was 45 pounds overweight, but also emotionally. I was so weighed down by the shame. I would do the sit ups or push ups and think to myself how awful I must look as she stood watching me. Ugh. Talk about being in the valley. One day, she made a comment about boxing. I was interested. So she got out the gloves and the mits....now that was FUN!
The company my husband worked for closed, and budget needed to be squeezed, so there was no more room for my one on one after those 10 sessions. I was able to attend a boxing fitness class of hers for another few months, and that is where I started to really love it. Now oldest son is going off to college and budget needs to be redesigned again. I needed to find something closer and with a lower cost.
Along comes Title Boxing. It opens less than 5 miles away. This is where it all clicks. I am not just a number walking in the door. Not only am I greeted by name as I walk in, I am known by the trainers. I am not just a face in the class. They see me. They know what it looks like when I work hard, and when I am coasting. They notice when I am having a rough day, they see when my thinking turns negative in the middle of a class and call me out of it. If I don't come to one of my normal classes, I am asked where I was. This builds such a sense of community, that it encourages all of us taking classes. We learn each others names, we encourage each other, we throw in a little trash talk to push each other, and we laugh together. That is when I realize that this is the environment I have always been looking for. I am built with a need for relationship. I love being around people, I love encouraging others, and I am motivated by seeing strength and courage in others.
It all makes sense. It lines up completely with how God created me. It's no wonder that I feel the way I do here. It is the perfect fit for my personality. This is just reinforcement that it is so important to take the time to know and embrace how you were created. Because once you do that, you will be able to find your sweet spot, and begin pursue God's best for you. He desires for you to flourish, he has placed people around you to encourage you and lead you toward your next season. Stop hiding. Don't play it safe anymore. As William Shed said, "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for". You were not created to live a safe life. Transition is uncomfortable.
Are you scared? That is ok. Do it afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the act of stepping out in fear. What are you scared of? Making a mistake? Failing? Here is a news flash.... life is messy. So get out there, make some mistakes and learn along the way. Try something new. If you don't like it, try something else. If your not getting the results you want, tweak it...just DO something. A change of outlook follows a change in action. The catalyst of a new season doesn't have to be time. Many times a new season is born out of a new understanding. Today, my prayer is that you realize that you were created for more.
A powerful life is not one that we were born into, or one we stumble into living. It is a life we have chosen to live. In submitting our hearts to God, we become open to pursuing a life that will impact and bless others. One that will leave a wake of challenge and encouragement and grace behind it for generations.