Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Learning to be grateful...
I'm not an athletically talented person. In fact, I'm a hot mess in the gym at times. I'm clumsy and uncoordinated...inflexible and easily frustrated. Every movement...every success I've had in the gym...comes solely from hard work and determination. As a result, I have always been very excited and grateful when I first mastered each movement that is difficult for me.
It's been a while since I've had to learn new movements myself. I spend my days teaching and correcting other people's movements. I guess I began to take what I am able to do for granted. I would do what we all do from time to time...whine about a workout or find excuses to skip. I always knew that tomorrow was a new day and I could start fresh. I never thought about the possibility that maybe some "tomorrow" would come where I was no longer physically able to do what I wanted, but unfortunately for me it did. I broke my wrist in the gym and nothing there has been the same.
I remember lying in the emergency room alone the morning I drove myself there after falling in the gym. I felt so frustrated and alone. I wanted to cry but I was determined to remain as tough as possible in front of the doctor and nurses there. I couldn't help but think, "Why me? Haven't I had more than my fair share of struggles in the past year?!?", but we all know that kind of thinking doesn't accomplish anything worthwhile so I tried to quickly dismiss it and be as positive as possible. It's a setback and I WILL heal, so I went forward committing to myself that I would do my best to continue to workout in whatever capacity I could.
In the weeks since it happened, I have continued to work out. I have had to adjust and scale movements, but I'm still working hard. I get funny looks when I go into a gym or run on a trail with a cast or now brace. I worry a lot about where I will be and how much I might loose by the time I'm fully healed.
Everything has changed. Things that use to be easy are hard. I've had to learn to live with one hand to do the work of two. The funny thing is that the harder I struggle...the more I appreciate the task.
I got an answer to the question I asked myself on the hospital bed that morning. "Why me?"...because I needed to be reminded just how precious it is to be able to walk in a gym and pick up a barbell. I needed to find the humility that I once had...many years ago when I myself was just learning. I took my ability to do anything that I wanted to do in the gym for granted.
These days, I long to do things that I once did. I watch people in the gym sweating and struggling with barbells and I can hardly stand it, because I want to do the same. My wrist may be broken, but my spirit is unbroken. I hate being hurt. I hate being held back. I hate the pain and fear of the unknown, but I'm grateful in some strange way.
I'm grateful because my perspective is forever changed. I now know that working out is not a chore or a burden. Working out is a privilege and that is how we should treat it.