I like to exercise...sometimes. Sometimes I don't feel like it. Here are some life lessons drawn from this dichotomy I face 4-5 times a week:
Running uphill is the pits. All of the little voices in your head are screaming out for you to stop (Oh, you don't have voices in your head?...). Of course, if you want to see any progress, you don't listen. You tell yourself that you are hurting right now, and that your decision-making capability is biased.
Train yourself to get through the hard things in life before making any conclusions or decisions. Pain can make us act in ways we'll regret later. It makes us want to throw in the towel, and tells us it's not worth it to keep going. Don't give in. Admit that this is hard and you don't like it, but keep going. Character is built in the hard times.
2) You don't have to feel able to do it at the beginning. You just have to start.
What I'm saying is, you're generally capable of more than you think. If you feel daunted before you ever begin, you're going to have a hard time doing it. But if you focus on doing the portion you are on to the best of your ability, you'll probably find you get through the workout and didn't die like you had anticipated.
A lot of situations seem daunting from the outset. We feel frozen and have trouble starting things, because we can't get our focus down to the one thing that it takes to get started. Learn to face each situation in bits. Focus on the bit right before you, and just get through that. Don't try to tackle everything at once. Look at what God has given you to do in this moment, hard or not, and do it with all of your heart.
3) Accountability works.
My sister-in-law and I keep each other accountable with how often we exercise. I have to admit that there would have been times I wouldn't have exercised in the past few months if I didn't have to report the workout to her. It's kind of annoying sometimes to not get to skip for no reason, but that's my inner fat girl talking. It is so good for me to be accountable and not make excuses. And it's also a perk that she always responds with an encouraging word or a "Good job!" Not only that, but she's also a certified personal trainer, so she provides my workouts!
In life we need friends that know what we're up to. The kind that will call you out when you make excuses for bad behaviors, and also the ones that will encourage you along. Left to ourselves, we tend to make excuses for ourselves. We need good friends that know our lives to keep us going on the right path.
I'll probably do a part 2 of this post some time. Exercise has a lot of life lessons, but I have to do some more exercise first to think of them!