After my divorce, I was in a slump! I was in my late Fifties and out of shape.
My story is not all that uncommon, but it still feels pretty unbelievable (and by that I mean: terrifyingly unhealthy) to admit that I didn’t exercise for 13 straight years. I lived my life, woke up, ate food, and carried on without so much as breaking a sweat. No cardio, no conditioning, no heart-pumping movement or muscle-toning repetitions. Oh, I would go for a walk every now and then, but not much more than that.
This lack of exercises was all the more surprising since I had been a regular exerciser all the way into my forties. I would jog every morning and cardio classes in the afternoon. I even went line dancing every week, played coed softball and racquetball. Exercise was always a consistent part of my life.
After my divorce I decided I needed a change so one night I went with my son to the gym, I was running circles around the tiny little track and I started thinking. I knew at that moment that I needed to make a change and find a new way to challenge myself. I also had started to realize that I was very much living in a bubble, seeing the same people and doing the same things every day. And I wanted to do something to force myself to break that comfort zone and become more independent. So I promised myself that I would find a gym and start work with a trainer.
The next week I signed up for my classes., I felt anxious and weird like on the first day of school, but I did it! I went to a class where I didn’t know anyone and it was really, really hard. I kept going, and every time it was really hard I would tell myself, “This is why you are here.” I know it’s cheesy, but this was a huge turning point in my life and a really healthy step for me as a person and for my fitness.
That was exactly three month’s ago.
In order for me to be consistent, I decided to not think about what I haven’t done, or how much work it’s going to take to get to where I want to be. Don’t think about how out of shape you are or how terrible it is that it’s been so long since you last exercised. Over thinking is momentum’s enemy. Let the past stay in the past, and just do something.
I found it is really hard to make new friends as adults. So open yourself up to the idea that exercising can be a way to form new relationships. And here’s a secret for you — finding friends who enjoy working out is one of the best ways to ensure that you maintain your healthy routine. Before my fitness commitment, I was in a funk; I didn’t have many girlfriends. By starting this new journey, I threw open a door that has led to so many wonderful new friendships — wonderful not only because they’ve held me accountable, but also because they’ve pushed me to realize my true potential.
The best part of all this: you’ll see results everywhere. Put effort into yourself, be it through sweat or physical challenges. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Exercise sets off a chain reaction, improving not just your own physical body, but all elements of your life.
This is one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.
I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Romans 12:1
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20