Discipline, Love, and Thoughts on Going to the Gym

Confession time: I am not really that great at keeping up with my own projects.

When I think about how I have to write a post for my blog, or do assignments for school, I can easily tell you which one garners more attention. The fact that someone else is holding me accountable, and judging me, makes me move like nothing else. In fact, it is so predictable I often wait to the last minute, just to see how close of a call I can make. I am not sure if it has been my lifelong upbringing in a performance-based, results-oriented school system or my adoration for “saving the world by stopping the bombs from blowing up at the last possible second” storylines which have so intricately cultivated this sense of Procrastinator’s Glory within me.

Of course, it might just be me, on some level, not society or the media.

I was talking to my personal trainer I hired to help me get my body somewhat back from my pregnancy. Here’s the picture: I am a certified personal trainer, and I know how to do all the exercises, and I can even create plans for people and myself. But I need someone to keep me accountable. I need someone to expect me to show up at XX:XX o’clock, ready and limber to go through cardio, weights, and stretching. And we’ve had some great conversations. I like that I have him to keep me accountable. But I don’t like that I need people to do this for me.

Can anyone else relate?

I’d mentioned that I’d seemingly always had a problem doing this to him, the whole keeping myself accountable bit. And when I asked him how he managed to keep up with his own regime, because of course he does, he told me something so simple, it was almost sinister.

He told me he loved the exercises. He loved to work out, and keep in shape, and learn new tactics and techniques.

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Lucky him.

But he has a grand point. He loved to work out. I view it as a necessary evil at best, and a chance to get some time away from others while getting some endorphin-related compensation (and if I am lucky, my pants fit better, too.) Maybe if I loved what I was doing, I would work out more, too.

But this simple thing got me thinking: there are a lot of other areas in my life where I don’t actually love what I am doing. And most of it, surprisingly, shows up in how I procrastinate.

I hate cleaning up, so I wait until the in-laws are coming over to clean it all up; this same principle applies to laundry, dishes, and yard work.

I hate writing seemingly unrelated papers for my graduate classes, so I wait until the last possible day to work on it, and make a game out of it.

I hate dragging myself out of bed and going to places where I don’t really want to go (Walmart, church, the doctor’s office), so I am perpetually late.

I even hate writing blogs a lot of the time, so I wait till WordPress sends me that email saying, “It’s Time To Write AGAIN, YAY, GO DO IT!”

Sometimes I even think about how God can seem like a chore.

But…

If I liked – or even loved – doing these things, would it be so hard to do them?

I don’t think so.

Part of the reason I think we have the idea of service to God so confused is because we are told about the need to do works, the ‘good-deed doer’ type of thing. And more often than not, not enough love is there to make you want to do them. I know that’s the case with myself, even though I don’t really like to admit that. I have trouble loving the things which would make me the most happy.

So the question is, for the results-oriented person living in my skin, how do I get myself to love the things I am supposed to love, and to hate the things which I am not supposed to like? Is it possible to even do this?

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