Building Stamina

Hello everyone! I did it again. I knew it would happen eventually, and last week I fell off the blogosphere map. Took a whole week an a half away from writing, completely unintentionally, but at least this time it was only for a short time rather than the two-year hiatus before.

When I restarted this endeavor, my intention was to start out posting as much as possible so that I built the habit of posting. Little did I realize at the time that life has a way of getting in the way and utterly zapping the last of your energy when you start out full tilt at something. Eventually, if you’re anything like me, you realize that you’re just tilting at windmills rather than really accomplishing anything of significance.

That is not my goal here. I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting. That almost feels contrived and insincere. Instead, I think I’m going to back off on the number of posts I put up, but really spend more time building out what I want to say. That’s not to say that God might not lay something on my heart (like he did today), that I want to go ahead and say, but I think for the time being that I’ll limit posts to every couple of days.

STAMINA

So what does the title of tonight’s post have to do with its introduction?

Well, like I said, over the last little bit, life has been picking up speed in some areas. It’s pretty much all good things going on at this point, but because of those other blessings, there are extra distractions on my days.

On top of that, I’m still working a full-time job and training new people left and right. With the quarter and month ending last Friday, work has been incredibly busy and full of long days. Those long days also made me push my normal lunch hour trips to the gym to the back burner.

GYM TIME

I bring up the gym because over the last (almost) year, I have developed the habit of using my lunch hour to go to the gym and work off some steam and calories. When I started my journey back to getting in better shape, I picked my lunch hour for a couple of reasons:

  • Going to the gym after work wasn’t feasible because of needing to be available to help with any number of things at home.
  • Going during lunch meant that I had to focus and get the most out of my short workout. No time to only put in half the effort when you’re on a time crunch from the start.
  • Going during lunch also meant that there wouldn’t be nearly as many people there, so I wouldn’t have to fight for machines.

And the most important reason…..

  • Going before work is just never going to happen. I like sleeping until 0630, and can’t fathom getting up earlier. There are people in my life who will say that 0630 isn’t sleeping in, and to them I say that it is for me.

So, with the extra pressures at work for covering more tasks than one person should need to handle (keeping in mind that I’ve basically stopped working after I leave work because it just got to be too much), and the added bonus of needing to clean up some things for EOM/EOQ, I hadn’t made it to the gym in over 2 weeks……

……until today.

BACK AT IT

Today, I managed to make it back to the gym and decided as a reward I would just run rather than picking up heavy things and putting them down. (Instead, tomorrow will be arms and upper body…..unless I decide it needs to be leg day.) Any time that I’ve gotten back on the band wagon to work out and get in better shape, running has been where I’ve started. I find that it’s a good place to start because you can burn a lot of calories in the shortest amount of time.

Well, today, after over two weeks without really working out, I noticed that my stamina to run a mile was basically shot, let alone to run the almost two miles I had gotten up to in early June. That’s something that you don’t want to realize…..after putting in all that effort before, by letting my guard down and not pushing to maintain that level, I was beginning to lose the skill.

Usually, I run with music, but since today my headphones were MIA, I was running with my thoughts instead. The realization that I had been losing stamina physically translated rapidly to other areas of my life.

  1. Blogging: Yes, I mention this first because the blog is what you’re reading. I took a break from blogging, and I’m afraid that I may have started to lose the drive. I don’t want to do that, but rather want to maintain it and even develop it. So instead of jumping back in with every scrap of energy I have, I’m going to take time to build this back up the right way. Planning has to come next rather than just sitting down at my keyboard and hoping that the good idea fairy will continue to strike. Reality is that she rarely strikes, and usually her ideas are not actually all that good.
  2. Health: This extends past simply making sure that I exercise more. Back in January when we all are prone to writing out New Year’s Resolutions, I resolved that I was going to make some changes in my life to have a more balanced life. I had told myself that I would watch less TV, spend more time reading and writing, and maybe learn a new skill or two. While I can say that I’ve been marginally successful in these areas, I feel like the middle of the year is a good time to recommit. Maybe not spend so much time glued to one screen or another. I’ll definitely be spending more time outside, and already have some plans in the works to pretty well force that issue. I’m also going to read more with the express goal of hoping it helps me write more and better.
  3. Bible Study: This last one is actually the most important point. Making some changes in the first two will facilitate this third one, but at the end of the day, this one is the one that matters above all others and is the most important area to build stamina in.

RUNNING THE RACE

Just like those crazy people who train for and run marathons, we as Christians have to train to run the race set out for us. It is highly unlikely that you or I will wake up one day and have as much insight into scripture as Spurgeon or Billy Graham. I’m not likely to wake up tomorrow and have the words to lead stadiums full of people in Bible study like Beth Moore. But with proper training, anyone can have the knowledge base and ability to speak boldly about their faith.

The key is in starting small. Just like when I started back to blogging, if you jump in head first and try to read the Bible in a night, expecting to then know everything God has for you, you will burn out faster than a fireworks display. Brief flashes of brightness, maybe some residual light in the air, followed by fizzled darkness. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that to be the legacy that I leave.

“She was a brief flash of brilliance, then she was gone.”

No, instead, we should aim for the long run. Being good over short distances is handy, but being steady over the long haul is what matters, (I’m suddenly thinking about the tortoise and the hare.) and to finish strong with God requires the willingness to train for the long run.

So that’s the basic gist of this. I’m going to be working on better planning and quite a bit more study so that I can put together better posts that have more meaning. You’ll still hear from me, just maybe with less frequency. I hope instead to leave you with something to ponder and even push you in your study.

Soli Deo Gloria

Allyson

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