I don’t really enjoy exercising. I know its benefits. I need to exercise, but just because I need to doesn’t mean I like to. Some days, the win is that I exercised at all instead of not exercising.
Yesterday was one of those days. I really didn’t want to exercise, but I hopped on the stationary bike because I needed to do it for my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. I had already thought to myself, “If I can gut out 10-15 minutes, I’ll call it done.” Then my goal extended to 4 miles completed. (I typically aim for about 6-7 miles in about 22-23 minutes.)
Just about the time I met the 4-mile mark, Alex came in the room to get some of his school supplies to start his day. He saw me sweating it out and asked me, “How far have you ridden… and how long are you gonna ride that thing?” I replied with my distance, and told him I really needed to go another couple of miles and another 6-7 minutes. To which he exclaimed, “I don’t know how you do that!”
I thought for a moment, and then I answered, “I guess you just keep on peddling. You just don’t stop.” He said, “Yeah, but isn’t that hard?” Using my much-needed breath, I told him, “Yep, but you keep on going anyway.” That seemed to satisfy him, and he left me alone to… keep pedaling.
But now I had a little extra sense of being able to finish. I knew that… if I would just keep pedaling… if I just wouldn’t stop… I would get in my distance and my time. Sure I was sweating more than I wanted to. Sure I was tired of pedaling. Sure I wanted to stop and eat ice cream. But I kept pedaling anyway.
And guess what happened? I made it. I hit the 6-mile mark in just over 22 minutes. Now, that may not be impressive to you. You may be some kind major-ninja-exercise-guru-master who laughs at my distance or time with an air of superiority. But I just needed to exercise yesterday. I did it because I needed to do it… not because I wanted to. I didn’t feel like it. And I would have probably given up earlier if Alex had not walked in the room at that moment. But because he did… because he asked me those questions… because he unknowingly nudged me to do what it took to finish strong… I did better than I expected.
Maybe someone reading this today feels ready to quit doing what you need to do. You’re ready to throw in the towel. You’re beyond ready to give up. You’re tired. Your win today was getting out of bed and getting dressed. Beyond that, your expectations for the day include doing what you have to do to survive or get by. And you don’t even want to think about tomorrow… or next week… or next month… or next year.
Don’t give up. Whether it is finding the right job, improving your marriage, completing your education, or pursuing a lifelong dream, all you have to do is keep going. Yes, it may be hard, but you can do it. Yes, you may be tired, but you have what it takes to finish strong. Just keep pedaling. You’ll get there. The key is to just keep going on anyway, no matter how hard it feels right now. And when you reach your goal… when you finish strong, having done more than you thought you could… you will be so glad you did.
P. S. – In those moments when these words of encouragement are not enough to motivate you, ask God to help you. He will strengthen you and help you reach the finish line!