Toughen Up

 Day 12 Project 365

Ok so a few years back we were members of the Y and decided to join their 12 week challenge.  It was great.  They taught us all about nutrition, walked through exercises with us and as a group we tried out many different group exercises classes.  I fell in love with water aerobics and enjoyed the step classes.  Then I found the class created by the devil himself.  SPIN!  I rode a bike as a kid, even some as an adult.  I remember it being fun and making the summer days pass quickly.  Well, I am not sure what has changed but…..good grief.  Day 1 I thought ok, this is going to be easy.  I am going to love his class.  The guy walks in and starts walking us through setting our bikes up for our height and how to work everything. He is very sweet and has helped me with other classes and exercises and I am excited he is our instructor.   He gives a little speech about the different levels of intensity and such and starts the music.  My daughter and my husband are already on their bikes ready to go.  So I climb up and sit down and it doesn’t take long before I feel realize this isn’t the bike of my younger years.

Maybe it’s that my assets have changed and the seat got smaller. Maybe it’s that every time the tempo changes this man who I once thought was nice now wants me to change the tension on this stupid bike.  Whatever it is begins to claim my rear.  I begin to feel as if my butt cheeks are going to fall off.  I push for about 25 minutes and bail.  I climb down and exit rear door left.  I happily watch through the glass and cheer on my family (standing is the only option because, thanks to send cycling class I have major pain in my behind).  So the next day I call my friend.  She loves to cycle.  She rides her bike all the time and sometimes hundreds of miles in one weekend.  I ask her how in the heck she likes this?  She laughs and assures me that soon my buttocks will become calloused in those now tender places.  Really????? If God had intended those places to be calloused don’t ya think I would have been born that way?  So after I assure her God has nothing to do with a spin class, that it is surely a work of the dark one, she offers me a gel padded seat.  One that is sure to make spin more enjoyable.  What the heck, I will give it a try if it eases the pain.  So like a trooper I march in the next day to spin class proudly displaying my new seat cover.  I adjusted the bike and waited til the last possible moment to get on.  I mean I have a little faith this seat will make a difference but just in case I will be safe.  Music starts and I get on my bike.  Yeah, this is a little better, for a whole 5 minutes.  I knew within seconds this was going to end badly.  I think I made it 2o minutes this time and that was that.  I vaguely remember muttering some not so nice things about the instructor I used to think was a nice guy and waved a cute quick wave as once again I exited rear door left.  About a week later I was informed that we would be taking this class one more time as  group and being video taped for a television show that was following our weight loss.  This time I came prepared.  Not only did I have my gel seat, I also brought a pillow.  Laugh at me all you want, I could have cared less.  For weeks I had hardly been able to sit because of these devil bikes I had been on and now I was reclaiming feeling in my hind parts.  I strapped on the gel seat and flopped down my pillow.  Mr. “I am going to make you feel pain” smiled in my direction and I smiled back.  Not sure it was a nice smile or if it was a how ya like me now smile but I again climbed on the bike to ride.  HA! I made it all 50 minutes.  Victory was mine!  Never been back.

Cycling is not something I find a deep desire to pursue.  My hind parts can recall the pain and even today as I rode by this line of shiny new bikes in a rainbow of colors I was very aware of the revolt that would await if I climbed on one again.  However, there is something to be said for the lesson I could have learned had I stuck with it.  My friend was right! Over time I would have noticed less and less the pain.  I would have suffered for a few weeks while those tender parts were toughened up but soon I would have noticed the benefits.

I cycle through my life like that too.  Looking more at the hard painful parts than at where the journey can take me.  I bail when it gets hard and painful.  It must be someone or something else that is to blame.  I find reasons to quit.  I over look the rewards and get side tracked by the pain, by the hard work and sore spots.  I get robbed of the benefits.

I am tired of cycling through.  I want to enjoy this ride.  I want to stop doing the same thing over and over expecting to get a different result.  I want to finish the things I start.  Even the hard things that make me uncomfortable or cause me pain.  I no longer desire to go through the motions.

No where on my project 365 list does it say “take a spin class”.  I am totally ok with that.  However, I do have things on my list that require me to toughen up.  To do some hard and painful things.  So with that being said, I dusted off my gel seat cover today and placed it in my journaling spot.  It sits here next to my bible and my journal and it challenges me.   It is here as a reminder.  The things worth pursuing will cost me something.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?

So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.

They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly;

 I do not box as one beating the air.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


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