Fitness Friday: Pushing Through / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

This week I set a goal to work out three to four times. I'm in the process of rebuilding my base before training begins for the 2018 Philadelphia Marathon, so it is important for me to get out on the pavement. But if I am honest, this is not only an endeavor in rebuilding my base. That would imply that I've maintained my fitness in other ways and all I'm doing is switching from cross training or strength training back to running. No, no, no. I realized this morning that what I am doing is more about renewing my fitness.

On Monday, hubby and I set out together for walk/run intervals. He is a pretty fast runner on his slowest day and I'm a pretty slow runner on my fastest day, so intervals was a perfect way for us to pound the pavement together. The three miles that we completed were my fastest in a long while, but it felt amazing. I thought I would have been wiped out on Tuesday, but I wasn't. I logged another two and a half miles in the neighborhood before going in to work. Wednesday and Thursday were busy days, so I rested. When I woke up this morning, I felt like I had been run over by an eighteen wheeler. My whole entire body was hurting. There was no part of me that wasn't hurting. I wish I was exaggerating. 

I laid in bed contemplating resting after taking the girls to school and running errands. I laid in bed contemplating deferring the Philadelphia Marathon until 2019. I laid in bed lamenting, wondering how and why I allowed myself to lose the fitness gains that I had made. I laid in bed feeling insecure about my body and what it was capable of.

And then I got up.

I got up and I put on my workout clothes with the intention of getting in some movement during the course of the day. Some kind of movement. Any kind of movement.

After running errands, I laced up my kicks and hit the pavement. My body was still hurting, but I recognized that walking was precisely what I needed to do. There is a point in fitness and in life, when it is necessary to push through difficulties to reach higher heights. 

With each step that I took, I felt the weight I've put on and the loss of cardiovascular fitness. And yet, with each step that I took, I was acutely aware that by pushing through the discomfort and discouragement, that I was getting closer to peak fitness. 

Sometimes we have to listen to our bodies, particularly in times of injury and fatigue.

And sometimes we must have conversations with our bodies, reminding them of how strong, powerful, capable, and and resilient they are. Today, I told my body to push through and I did. 

Push through discomfort...

Push through disappointment...

Push through fears...

Push through should, would, and could...

Push through insecurities...

Push through despite what it looks like and feels like...

I read a quote on Pinterest that said, "It takes a lot of courage to push through hard times. Never give up. Good things are coming your way." This wisdom is also found in the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Philippi, "Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is being and straining toward what it ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (3:13-14)

I am a witness, in my fitness journey and in life, that if we push through, that good things will meet us on the other side. 

Dear readers, what do you need to push through--fitness or otherwise--to reach the goals and aspirations that God has placed in your heart?