For all of my life I have never been the biggest, fastest, or strongest. While I was tall for my age, there was usually someone taller in my grade. While I had quick reflexes and could compete, I never had a guaranteed winning hand. There were guys in the gym, on the court, as well as on the road that always put me in my place. With more than few additional decades to my credit, my gym awareness reminds me that life has a way of extracting a price with age!
As I watch with admiration, the workout routines of a few put the best disciplines of yesterday to shame. Simple plank positions are taken to new extremes and held indefinitely. Upper body exercises on a bar go beyond anything in my imagination. Workouts of young mothers on stationary cycles and weights put my flexibility, pain threshold, and endurance in their place. My commentary, as much to myself as to anyone listening, paraphrased the psalmist’s observation of old; “he shattered the heavy jailhouse doors, he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!” (Psalm 107.16)
In my awareness of being dwarfed, I have come to appreciate that my perspective has been twisted and warped. Candidly, it was never about me versus the best. It was and is about my life, where I am today, and what I choose to do in this moment. Will I invest in my flexibility and strength? Am I willing to push myself beyond my comfort zone?
Recent news reports highlight the impact of slacking off. Within days, one’s body is reacting differently. Within weeks, one’s health metrics – blood pressure, heart rate, etc. – begin to change. The reports go on to remind the reader that any exercise helps. One does not have to be perfect. Do what you can, when you can and good things follow.
I understand I am not as fast as I once was. I know that the opportunity to do something today is here, waiting for my embrace. I love the fact that there are possibilities. Now is the time.