If you only knew how often I think of you when I’m at the gym! Yes, “you,” the fellow soul who cares about your physical fitness. More than anything, I want to ENCOURAGE you on your individual journey, knowing each of ours is different. We all have unique abilities and goals, injuries or surgeries from which we’re recovering, or conditions we’re currently experiencing. Our workout regimes are very personal… custom-tailored to our likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. This makes it difficult, I sometimes think, for me to write to such a diverse audience. But lately a message has been on my mind which I believe applies to everyone–no matter our age or stage in fitness–because it can benefit us all. It has to do with using our Orbicularis oris muscle: the muscle around our mouth!
We can tell ourselves before going to bed at night we’ll wake up early and go to the gym, but once that alarm sounds, it’s easy to turn it off and go back to sleep. We can tell ourselves we’ll go for a run after work or swim laps on Saturday, but once those times come and we’d rather do something else (like relax), it’s simple to forego our original intention. But when we tell SOMEONE ELSE our plans and ask this person to hold us accountable, we’ve most likely taken a giant leap in accomplishing our personal goals.
The very reason this idea entered my brain is because Yours Truly was guilty of the easier, non-action option! For about a month I’ve been thinking I should add “Butt Blasters” to my regular workouts, but I haven’t on a consistent basis. Heard of this fun little exercise? (Some gyms have a machine with the same name.) In case you haven’t, I have one word: BRUTAL. When I was competing in Figure, it was a normal, daily occurrence to strap 10 pounds around each ankle, get on my hands and knees, and lift each leg up and backwards 100 times. Try it… you may soon understand why the easier route would be NOT adding them to my workouts now! But that’s exactly why I need to tell you I’m going to… five pounds on each leg, 100 times per leg, three times a week for one month. Then I’ll reassess.
See… now that I’ve told you, I have to do them! I’ve given you my word.
How about you? Is there something you’ve been thinking about, but haven’t actually started? It doesn’t need to be “Butt Blasters” (but it can be!), nor does it need to be something you dread. (I just need extra motivation with “dreaded” exercises, like pull-ups!) It could be walking 20 minutes a day with your dog or training for your first triathlon… or countless possibilities in between. And it’s not about comparing yourself to someone else–it’s about striving on your own path towards your own potential. And celebrating your own successes! Ideally your accountability partner will genuinely care and celebrate your victories, too. (At the very least, tell me… I care!)
This secret to success applies to our spiritual fitness, as well. If you desire to join a Bible study, start a daily prayer time, or want to memorize one Bible verse a week, tell someone and do it! (Click on “Love’s Lamp” for help in finding Scripture that WILL make a difference in your life.) Perhaps that “someone” is aching for a new direction, too, and you both will be “mutually encouraged” (Romans 1:11-12). “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). In both physical and spiritual fitness, this is often where a new level of fun begins!
Remember, once on our new journey, we can again use our mouth and say whenever we need to, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). I just may while I’m counting to 100….