self care

Capable of more: life lessons from the gym

After Saturday’s workout I thought,
“I’m not going to be able to move my arms tomorrow!”

Now let me make this clear: you don’t have to feel sore to know you had a good workout. That depends on your body and your goals. But the thing is, I’ve realized through working out that my tendency is to do the minimum required. I show up, I do it, but I don’t go above and beyond. My non-competitive nature means I don’t care much about winning, and as a highly empathetic person, I’d feel bad if I won anyway because I wouldn’t want to make anyone else feel bad.

Once I noticed this tendency in my workouts, I realized I do this in the rest of my life, too. Maybe this is human nature and not exclusive to me, but I tend to take the path of least resistance. I have great intentions, but in practice I usually end up doing no more than is required of me. In times of stress, this becomes an even bigger issue.

I’m working on changing that, and one tangible way is through my workouts.


Now, I challenge myself to do MORE than I think I can. To pick up the 15-pound weights when I think I can only do the 10’s. To run a little faster on the treadmill. To try something that looks too hard. Sometimes I can’t do it — yet — but sometimes I can, and it’s a huge confidence boost!

So I might waddle like a penguin after a leg workout, or do weird stretches throughout the day as I try to get my arms loosened back up. The truth is, I like sore muscles because they tell me I did more than the minimum required, not less. Yes, I like the look of toned muscles but what I like more is knowing I am capable of more than I think I am. If my skinny little body can do these hard things, what more am I capable of as a wife, a mother, as a person… ?

I am stronger than I thought.

And I’m willing to bet the same about you.

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