feeling the burn

Have you ever tried to start working out after a long period of not getting much exercise? Those first few sessions are rough. You feel awkward doing the exercises, your body protests with various phantom pains, it’s hard to breathe. And after is the worst, with the shaking and soreness. Basically you feel like you’re about to die. (At least that’s been my experience. Maybe you do better than me on this. Exercise and I have an off-again on-again relationship.)

A similar dynamic occurs any time we try to take positive steps in our spiritual, relational, or social lives (these are closely linked but that’s a topic for another day). Invariably, what we are trying to do in these areas requires new and different actions and these feel awkward and painful at first. And the immediate effects from them may feel kind of like walking (limping) out of a new (to us) gym. It takes time and reps to get past this initial painful, awkward stage, for the true benefits to start showing up.

Don’t quit if it feels weird and hard at the beginning. That is as normal as hating those first few treadmill runs. Press through in what you’ve started and it will get easier and better and you will healthier for it.