I have shared before about my passion for working out. No. No I have not. I still can’t stand it. I still have to force myself to get up and do something that looks semi-healthy.
Within my disdain for exercise I have an even deeper frustration with people that talk to you during exercise. Even if those people are on a screen. I’m fine with instructions, but it’s the cheery banter and motivational one-liners that get me.
And this morning, in the midst of inspirational phrases, my virtual leader for today’s workout said this, “Struggle forward.”
Such a great line. Granted I don’t want to hear it when I’m trying to breathe, trying not to pee myself as I jump, and praying my knees hold out….but it’s a great line.
All sorts of things will be, or will require, struggle. And in most cases you will either struggle backwards, tripping over regret, shame, and cyclical dysfunction. Or you, still struggling, can struggle forward, pushing yourself, clawing your way, building up grit.
If I don’t try and maintain some level of physical activity I will struggle backwards with lower back issues, knee pain, foot drama, heart concerns…and I could keep struggling backwards, adding thing after thing. And struggling forward provides no guarantees. It doesn’t mean there aren’t set-backs, or pain or…struggle. It’s just which direction am I choosing to struggle.
Saving money is struggling forward.
Neglecting relationships, struggling backwards.
Investing in my mental health, carving out time in my day for spiritual growth, turning off what I want to leave on, putting down what I crave to pick up…this movement requires determination, effort, and sacrifice, it’s a struggle. But it’s a struggle forward.
“I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward (struggle forward) to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3
Next time you want to stop forward movement, next time you are thinking “I know I need to do ___________.” but you don’t want to, next time you want to struggle backwards, remember, there is another option. You’re going to struggle either way, you pick the direction.