Does it ever seem like the hardest part of a new project is simply starting it? The hardest part of exercise (or at least the part that I dread the most) is getting my exercise clothes on and tying my shoes. Once I actually start walking, running on the elliptical, or warming up with an exercise DVD, I’m fine. Just putting one foot in front of the other and making myself start is the biggest challenge. This is also true with term papers, home projects, and most unpleasant tasks we tend to put off until tomorrow. When you are dreading something, remember that beginning a task is the hardest part.
Most people who know me well would label me a procrastinator. There is always something more amusing to do besides what I need to do. This was a source of contention when Eric and I were first married (and sometimes still today ~smile~). He likes to tackle jobs as they present themselves. In fact, yesterday he found himself at a standstill on a project and was brainstorming what else he could accomplish in the meantime. When I come to a standstill on a job, I’m thankful for the break! Because of this dynamic in our relationship, I wanted a chance to prove to Eric (but mostly to myself) that I could begin a project strong, work through the project strong, and finish the project strong. When a dear lady at my church decided to start an exercise competition, I found my chance. ~smile~
Exercise is not something I live for like a lot of people I know. No matter how many articles I read about endorphins and how exercise improves our quality of life, I will probably never passionately adore sweating and hurting. However, the desire to start and stick with a project trumped my desire to sit on the couch.
For three months, I devoted myself to walking, running on the elliptical (praise the Lord for friends that let me borrow movies and TV series!), and a plethora of other exercises. At one point, I ran a marathon on my elliptical. I know that running 26.2 miles on an elliptical is NOTHING like running 26.2 miles up and down hills, but I was still excited. ~smile~
Those who saw how many hours I was putting in each week may have wondered why I was working so hard for a small community competition – but it wasn’t for a small community competition. It wasn’t even for the prize in the end. It was so I could prove to myself that I could succeed at a goal I set for myself – not by the skin of my teeth, but by giving it my all. Some amazing ladies (who have kids, jobs, and homeschooling responsibilities) gave me a huge run for my money. It was close, but in the end I won by a few points.
Even though it was a long three months, I would not trade it. It showed me that I had more fight in me than I realized. It took away my excuses. It gave me a big win to remember when I want to say, “I can’t.”
You may be someone who naturally excels and adores competition, or you may be more laid back like me; either way, I recommend accomplishing something hard before getting married. Maybe you are in a difficult college degree or trade program. Maybe you are training for a half or full marathon. Maybe you have a financial/business goal in mind. Accomplish a big win before walking down the aisle. Marriage is both amazing and difficult. When you are going through a rough patch, someday you can look back remember what you accomplished and realize that you can push through the current obstacle. Accomplish some big wins so that you can make a successful and healthy marriage, which requires a good deal of work, one of your biggest wins! Soli Deo Gloria!
What audacious goal do you want to accomplish before marriage?