When I was in the hospital, I remember talking to JT about my gym membership. After crunching the numbers we figured it would be cheaper to just keep the membership for a few unused months instead of canceling and restarting.
I can remember saying ‟Ohh, I’ll be back by then!” But as we began to realize that I wasn’t going to get to go back like I thought I would be, we eventually canceled my membership. Working out was one of my favorite things to do and it is one of the things I have missed the most. I have had dreams that I am back at the gym working out like I used to, just to wake up and realize it wasn’t real. When I wake up at 5 AM and I can’t go back to sleep, I want nothing more than to get up and get a good workout in. I miss the way it made me feel and I miss the way it made me look. I even miss the feeling of being sore after. Crazy right?!
In October, I went back to the gym for the first time! When we walked in, Joey asked if I had been there before and I said “yes”. He said “oh so you know what to do” and I replied “yea but I just can’t do it now”. My nurse Jerrica said “yes you can, you just have to do it differently.” She was right! I found a few exercises I could still do and it felt great to be able to work out again, even if it is differently.
We’ve been going 2-3 times a week now and each time, someone comes up to me telling me that I am encouraging them to keep going. I wanted to share some of the inspirational things that have happened. One man said “I just want y’all to know you are my heroes tonight”. A woman cried and said that her son has Cerebral Palsy and she wanted to get him to go to the gym so it was inspiring to see me there. Another man put his hands on my shoulders and prayed “…Where 2 or more are gathered, You are there, and me and my sister are here asking for healing”. There are more stories than I can share here so I hope these serve as a reminder to reach out and encourage others when you can. Sometimes, we want to, but we aren’t sure how it will be received, do it anyway! People need people and while all of these stories are of people who felt encouraged by me, they also encouraged me without even knowing it!
Also— I learned that my risk of heart disease is higher now that I can’t move as much! This is hard because I actually want to exercise and be healthy, I just physically can’t do cardio. So, until I can do cardio, I am set on doing what I can with my body!
Have you been taking the elevator instead of the stairs, putting off exercise even though you know you need to and are able, or afraid to try something new for fear of not being able to do it how you used to? I hope these words will encourage you! This week, I challenge you to look at exercise as something you get to do instead of something you have to do. Remember that most of the time, simply changing the way we look at something makes a huge difference in our attitude towards it!