Fitness has been pretty important to me since about 17 years old, at first it was the realization that I was (slowly) becoming an adult and with that I gained the ability to choose my diet and learn what different foods did and the benefit of them. As I learned more and more about food and exercising the health aspect caught my full attention. I want to do way too many things in my lifetime not to remain healthy and able to do so. I want to live long and have children later in life and be able to love them and live well with them. All of that aside when I was around 21 I got sad, probably depressed (knowing me that’s really hard to admit and see) a little sometimes as well and needed something to help.
Again, I found myself at the feet of fitness knowing that there was a chemical release of endorphins that were absolutely GREAT for the sad seasons.
Exercising is a funny word, it doesn’t just apply to fitness and working out but also academics. We do math exercises and reading exercises to develop a specific ability that we have (and you DO have it, it might be small right now but change is possible). We also do exercises to expand what we know. In our songwriting class this week we were given an exercise to write a song in a week. Not a huge deal but we are only allowed to work on it 10 minutes a day. Gasps, grumbles and questions rolled around the classroom as many students tried to find all the loopholes when finally one of my classmates said,
“I can’t write a song like that, it’s just not how I write”
Hmm, well… Good thing this is an exercise, good thing that it’s literally made to develop a skill you didn’t have before. I’ve seen a change in the structure of my muscles since I started working out, I’ve added more and more weight to what I do because as I exercise those muscles that just ‘don’t write songs that way’ I find this crazy truth that I LEARN how to write songs that way. I learn how to pick up more weight.
I never want to be anywhere if I’m not teachable. I never want to roll up anywhere thinking my way is the only way. I actually think I still have a LOT to learn.
Something begins to happen when you work out though; you push yourself past the stresses of the day, past the overthinking and the limits that you allowed yourself to believe in. G-d has been constantly bringing up ‘Mental Blocks’ this semester. What I mean by this is, I’m reminded frequently of the power that the mind holds and when we allow a negative thought to solidify. Sometimes the thought isn’t even negative –sometimes it’s just limiting which is just as bad if you ask me. It’s baffling to me how much MORE I can accomplish with a simple “Laina, you’re almost there” that I either tell myself on my last 5 reps of a squat or that Krysia will remind me of as we are doing the last 30 sit ups. It’s releasing to believe that you can accomplish more.
When someone tells me I CAN write a song in 10 minutes a day for 7 days then all the sudden I push past the thoughts that I can’t. I firmly believe the mind is something to be trained just as much as the body. I, as a woman have the privilege of stereotypically being an over thinker – oh, and I fit it to a T. I’m currently on a 21 day fast of my thoughts, I’m fasting my overthinking and rewiring my mind to trust in peace and clarity and promises that I’ve already been given. I believe in mental healing as much as anything else. I think that pushing yourself develops that brain muscle that we all should probably take a little more time for. Even if it is something as simple as telling yourself that ‘G-d hasn’t given you the spirit or mindset of fear but of peace and love and a SOUND mind’ or remembering to ‘trust G-d with ALL of our hearts, lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledging Christ and HE will guide you’. Let your mind be at peace but always increasing.
This isn’t a fitness motivation post, although I do believe in treating your body well. This IS an exercise post though… work out… do the things that will develop your mind and the areas of your life that (suck) are underdeveloped. If you need a friend, find one. If you can’t find a friend, be a better friend (that one is for free). Invest enough in yourself to start breaking mental blocks that tell you, ‘you can’t’.