I have really come to hate, “The D word” -- discipline. Actually, there are a couple of “D-words” I don’t like. (This is the good time for a shameless commercial: If you haven’t read my 100-day Challenge blog, I encourage you to check it out. Presently on I’m day 27/100 and you can see my daily blog through a 100-day videos series on personal/professional growth. On that blog, I did a post on two of my least-favorite D words: discipline and deadlines.)
Today I wasn’t feeling like a good work out, but after missing workouts for the last five days, I knew I needed to get back up in the saddle. I’m presently using a video from Jillian (of Biggest Loser fame), and she is kicking my butt big-time! Even though the videos only consist of 3, 6-minute workouts, I’m near death at the end of each 18 minute segment. Today I was in level-two training and experiencing pain in parts of my abs that I didn’t even know I had.
I won’t lie -- Jillian isn’t my favorite trainer. I think I’m more of a Bob guy, when it comes to the Biggest Loser training group, but Jillian “gets results” and she is merciless; even on video. I swear it’s interactive because just as I started to take a couple seconds of rest during a particularly grueling set of ab-abuses, Jillian says, “Don’t stop. You don’t get breaks on a 20-minute workout!” I promptly returned to ab-hell and finished the set.
Without Jillian, today I would have quit. Today I would have stopped after the 2nd set of three and had a 12-minute power workout. 12 minutes was hard, but 18 was excruciating. If I would have stopped at 12, I would have lost the benefit of those extra six minutes of torture -- the six minutes that really count as your body screams out for mercy and your muscles push beyond the limit.
I’ve done some P90-x workouts, and others in the same vein, and each of them pushes you. Some, like P90-X, push you over 90 minutes of strength and cardio. Jillian pushes you in 20 minute bursts -- two totally different types of workouts but both attempt the same thing; kick your body into shape!
Of course, as I learned today, whatever type of exercise you are doing, it sure helps to have someone along for the journey. Whether it’s a tyrant like Jillian, or a creative motivator like my YMCA class instructor, Deb, having that someone to help is a big deal. I haven’t been in at my Y class in a while, and while I look forward to getting back into that routine on Monday mornings, I’m thankful for other options and other friends.
Trying to live the life God has called us to is not easy. I can’t be a loving husband or a very gracious father or a very compassionate pastor if I don’t have help. I’m blessed with lots of good friends who come along side me and help when I’m falling short. People who will challenge me when I snap at my kids or firmly remind me that I’m working too much, and spending too little time with Traci. I have friends that ask me those hard questions (like, “If I asked Traci how you were doing on spending time with her, what would she say?”) and won’t take “fine” as a good-enough answer.
At the Y, I need Deb to push me to complete a 2-minute plank, after a 45 minute workout, when I feel like crawling into a corner and dying. At home, I need a wife and friends who push me to keep loving my family and to keep my priorities straight when I feel like crawling behind my desk and working until midnight.
Do you have friends that will help you? Have you ever been that kind of a friend to someone else? If not, here are three thoughts for you:
- Ask God to help you find that kind of a friend. Sometimes we just don’t accept the help God has already given us in other people. By asking Him, He is very likely to show you what you already have!
- Ask someone to hold your feet to the fire. I have friends that step up and help me as soon as I ask them. They were ready and willing, they just needed to be asked. Many of them are honored to be asked, just as I am honored when someone trust me enough to be involved in their lives.
- Ask others if you can help them. Be the kind of friend you desire others to be. A buddy of mine was recently talking about his need to get going again in his physical and spiritual life. He wants to spend more time taking care of his body through good eating and exercise habits, as well as spending more time thinking about God, praying and reading His Bible. I asked if he wanted help. He said yes, and now I regularly e-mail and call him to see how he’s doing. It’s a privilege to help him and he is grateful for my investment. It’s a win/win.
Living the Overboard life -- refusing to live a comfortable, “in the box” life -- requires good friendships. Thanks to many of you reading this who are that kind of a friend to me; let me know if I can help you achieve your goals and dreams, too!
So go ahead and take the plunge -- life is always better on the water!