This past week, while working out, I had a breakthrough about listening to my body and more importantly, finding my “ticking point”.
Here’s how it went down:
On Friday I went for a run. It was warm, it was early evening, I was in the zone and it felt great. I cruised out 6miles, no complaints. Barely out of breath. Barely sweating (but I’m just weird like that).
6miles might be a regular old training run for some of you and for others, it might be a “Whaaaaat…yea right. Cardio?? No thanks, not me, never…”. Personally, I can be both. Friday, 6miles felt great. Monday’s run? A different story entirely.
Within the first 2 minutes of Monday’s run, my legs were talking to me.
I realized in that moment, I had a couple of options.
1. Stop. Call it a day.
2. Keep going & grind through it.
3. Do an intermittent walk, jog sort-of-thing.
4. Walk. Stumble down the street as I squint and write this post on my phone.
Clearly, I went with option 4.
Maybe you’re training for something, but I’m not. So There’s absolutely no stress, there’s no pressure. And there’s absolutely no point in berating myself and comparing my Friday to my Monday. My Monday has no bearing on the fact that my Friday was great. And another week, I’m sure I’ll have a bad Friday and a great Monday.
Sometimes life happens and we can try to plan for it, will it, and force it, but joy, ease, true strength and peace of mind come from accepting your ebb and flow.
It’s then that I’m reminded why I workout in the first place. It clears my head, it opens my mind, it feeds my soul, and it exhausts me to the point where I can stop distracting myself for long enough to hear less of me and more of Him.
We can’t always be running. There’s a time to be still and there’s a time to move. We just have to be willing enough to play out whatever were dealt – today.
Today I’ve got heavy legs but a new blog post. I’ve also reaffirmed an appreciation for self-care and self-love. Which is often confused with vanity, but is nothing of the sort. Self-care and self-love allow you to unleash that sought after ebb and flow.
Forgiveness and grace are principles we’re meant to apply to ourselves, too. Again, don’t get me wrong, forgiveness is not the same as laziness or excuse-based thinking. It is, however, a compassionate, realistic understanding. It’s a quiet confidence and a bold faith for better results at your next attempt.
We have to be willing to say no to the temptations and distractions, in light of the bigger yes. We have to say no to the resistance that comes from going against the grain. There’s things that make us all tick differently, too.
My “ticking point” might be running, a view of the horizon, the ocean, the sky, a familiar song that literally makes me sing out loud, & seriously…anything warm.
Yours might be painting, a cold something, a quiet corner, the mountains, conversation, cooking, driving, working in the yard, riding a bike, drinking coffee by the fire, etc.
Your “ticking point” can literally be whatever stimulates your outpouring of thought and creates and environment for you to get into your creation zone.
Whatever it is, do more of that. Prioritize it. Find freedom in it. It doesn’t have to look a certain way either (i.e.: Walking can be just as good as running. The ocean is best, but a lake or river will do.)
Idea generation rarely comes from nothing.
I’m convinced God gives us a special, individual desire to these “ticking points” because He wants us to go out and do something, so he can give us something. The important thing is, we have to listen, we have to ask (in prayer & petition), and we have to be willing to receive the message (even when it’s different than our own).
It’s about discernment. One thing I’m more aware of than ever, is that these moments aren’t my own, but rather, they’re given to me. It is however, always my choice to receive them. To cultivate them, to implement them. To eliminate enough distractions to actually remain focused on them.
Because when we’re “ticking”, we’re not thinking. He’s speaking into our train of thought, He’s charting our course and authoring our schedule according to His timetable.
He’s also wired us all differently–intentionally. There is no comparison.
As believers, we are one body composed of many parts, and we need each and every part to effectively function. It is our distinction, not our sameness, that sets us apart and is to be celebrated. [Christine Caine]
Could you imagine a world filled with billions of you? And don’t get all high and mighty on me and think that’d be great. I mean it. We are practically incapable of doing everything on our own and especially, all at the same time. Even Jesus knew the value of relationships and didn’t try to do everything and all at once.
He took what was in front of him. He devoted his full attention to it. He gave himself fully to his followers in whatever situation he was in. He sought to make disciples, not converts. He would have never been able to channel his power and call on the Father to heal the sick, make the blind see, and make good ol’ Peter walk on water if he was too headstrong and controlled by the disease of “busyness” and the syndrome of “too much”. Seriously, could you imagine an anxious, stressed out, too busy, people-pleasing Jesus? Ugh, the very thought of that kind of self-pressure and mental anguish makes my stomach turn.
But no. Jesus knew how to level set. He knew when to run and when to rest. He knew when to act and when to be still. He knew how to be present and to listen. He knew when and where to “hold the line” (Keni Thomas).
Because He knew how to obey, and when He doubted, He poured into the Word. He knew what company to keep and He knew how to stay connected to His ultimate “ticking point” (our Heavenly Father).
Obedience is a lot less painful than regret. And sometimes the things we ‘think’ we’re sacrificing are null in comparison to the purpose and reward He’s promised.
“Happy” has looked so many ways and meant so many different things to me over the years and I can honestly say, these ‘ticking points’, or moments of clarity and inspiration that I’m given stem directly from the “bad workouts”, missteps, or moments of blasè that proceeded them.
He opens our ears in moments of affliction (Job 36:15).
In times of disappointment, it’s far more important that we run to God with it than away from him. We have to trust that he will reappoint us. Sometimes God wants us to know that what was, won’t continue to be what is; and what was, never happened in vain.
I’ve learned that the more I don’t curse, ignore, or wish away the lows; the more vision I’m given. The more I learn to see, value, and get good with good; the more constantly hopeful I feel. The less I ignore the “something’s wrong here voice” inside my head, the more I’m empowered to not only see what’s so very right, but to choose it, love it, and nuture it.
45 minutes of walking later, my legs finally bring me to a stop. That’ll do for today.