THE THING ABOUT PAIN
Hi reader, welcome back friend :)
I finally went to the gym yesterday after what feels like forever. I walked in with a plan: work out 30 minutes by myself and get out. I guess a lot of people had the same idea because the gym was quite full. Since all the cardio machines were being used, I did a quick (but just as quickly tiring) jump rope warmup and asked the trainer for an arm routine. (Note to self: think twice before asking a trainer for help.)
He gave me a few exercises with different weights and left me to do the sets. He'd check up on me every once in a while and correct my technique. I started strong, and as I looked at myself in the mirror doing the bicep curls I thought, ¨Dang, I look good!¨. Which i did, but I progressively started to look less strong. Ironic right? I was doing exercises to get stronger, but the more I did, the less strong I looked even though I was getting stronger.
You see, that’s the thing about pain. When you’re not feeling it, you look good, strong and able to take anything the world might throw at you. But when you start actually trying to get stronger, you look more run down, sweaty…gross even. I also learned that the pain i was feeling did not mean i was unable to do it. I was halfway through a set when the trainer saw me struggling and said to me, ¨Just decrease the weight. You got this.¨ (I’m paraphrasing of course because he said it in Spanish.) I almost rejected his advice thinking, ¨I can´t decrease the weight, I came here to kick butt!¨, yet I was really struggling. Decreasing the weight helped me finish my workout strong, it didn’t mean I had failed.
And so, the concept that growth always looks good, I’m learning isn’t really true. Growing hurts, aches and takes some sweat. I’m also learning that decreasing the weight— in my life outside of the gym this means saying no to a lot of things to say yes to the few right things— doesn’t mean I´ve failed, but that I'm staying in the game. Let’s face it, we weren’t created for easy. I think I got comfortable, and stayed comfortable for a long time. The thing about comfort is it feels so good and cozy…until you try to put on your jeans. Comfort in relationships, our communion with God, our careers and family feels okay, until you want to grow. I think its okay to not be okay with your reality, in a healthy way of course. There should be a balance between gratitude for your present and drive for your future. I love the way I look, but I’m also excited to keep going to the gym and seeing results. I love my relationship with God, but I also know there is so much more to discover. I am so grateful for my family and the relationship we have, but I know there are a lot of things I could be doing better. Getting out of our comfort zone is never convenient, but it´s necessary and so worth it.
We could say that in different areas of my life I’m in front of the mirror, looking less strong than in the beginning. I’m sweaty, my hair´s a mess, but I’m showing up, I’m still lifting the weights. In some areas, the pain is more than in others, but I’m growing. And so should you :)
Don’t be afraid of the stretch, God´s not done with you yet.
Your sweaty friend,
Nadia Kay :*