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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God lessons in a Pilates workout

Stick with me here, I promise I have a spiritual point at the end.

I have been horribly discouraged about working out. It seems to be really hard work for such small results. Monday I did a step video that kicked my butt. It was my own fault. I used a much taller step to try to up the intensity. Boy, did it. About halfway through I was done. I was dripping sweat and gasping for air. And the girls on the video never stopped smiling. Girls with tans, tight ripped abs, beautiful hair, and big white teeth. They never grimaced as we pushed harder, they never dripped sweat while leaping repeatedly into the air, they just smiled. Like stepford wives. I got really angry that it was so easy for them and started yelling at the T.V. It didn't change anything, but at least I made it through the workout.

Yesterday was a weight day. For me weights are very boring. I am isolated in the playroom counting reps and listening to music. Every weight day I try to increase weight and/or reps on at least three exercises. It was a hard day. I cried about having to work out. How did I ever get fat? Then I had a temper tantrum about having to work out. Why is it easy for some people to stay shapely? NOT FAIR! Finally I resigned myself to the ugly truth that sometimes life sucks and started lifting. I survived, but grumpily.

Today I was desperate for something new. I was still very sore and moody and decided to look online for a pilates video. Pilates are ballet based exercises that are designed to increase tone, flexibility, strength, and relaxation. I downloaded the top rated pilates video from netflix and started. I made it through the first 10 minute segment just fine. Then the next segment was abs. It was at the moment when I was supposed to roll slowly up off the floor while keeping both feet completely vertically pointed up at the ceiling and touch my nose to my knees that I started laughing. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass doors of the fireplace. I was flopping like a fish out of water. Be glad to demonstrate this for anybody that needs a good laugh.

I listened to the instructor's calm, soothing, slightly sultry voice continue with instructions. (I can do a great impression if you want to hear it) "Now roll slowly back down to the floor. Bring those vertical legs further back until your toes rest gently on the floor next to your head. Now push yourself up off the floor so that your weight rests entirely on your upper back." Are you kidding me? This woman is laying on her neck with her legs touching the floor behind her! Who can do that? REALLY? I couldn't stop laughing. I made the attempt while watching my reflection. Can say that it's been a really long time since I have been so amused. I'm not sure that I will see the desired results since I was laying in the floor screeching with laughter. I was glad Shawn was not home. He would have hurt himself laughing at me.

Oh yeah, I was going to make a spiritual connection. During the video, the instructor would say in her soft, soothing, sultry voice crazy things like, "Now we are going to do 'shave the head' watch me and follow along." Then she said, "Next, let's do 'the saw' watch me first, then try the move." "Let's try 'hug a tree' be sure to watch how I do this move." I was laughing really hard at the crazy names for the exercises, but once she demonstrated I could follow along. Or at least make an attempt. (unless I was laughing too hard to move) I realized that as believers some of our lingo must be just as confusing to new Christians. "quiet time, spiritual gifts, surrendered, etc." I like the notion of saying, "watch me first, then you try it." Wouldn't it be great to live life that way? Where at any moment you could say, "Are you having a hard time figuring out this Christ following stuff? Watch me." There are too many times where watching me would get somebody off track. I am asking God that I would keep growing so that my life can be a guide for people who are confused about what it means to follow Christ.

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