When Distraction is a Good Thing
Ok. Here's the truth. I don't like going to the gym. I don't like running. I don't like exercise. But I have a high value for staying fit.
Let me explain.
I've always been athletic. All through my school years I played basketball and for my high school years I played soccer as well. I lived for sports carnivals at school! I would run all day if you put a ball in my hands or at my feet. But if you asked me to run 1 mile I would hate it. Every moment was painful. My thoughts would chant 'I. Hate. Run. Ning I. Hate. Run. Ning' on every step. My head would hurt and I would have a stitch in my side for the entire mile. People would try to encourage me with the promise of the 'sweet spot' where it feels like you can run forever.
I never got there.
But then I moved countries and haven't been able to join a sports team. I started to get headaches and become really lethargic. I'd never had these issues before. I asked God what the matter was and He told me that my body needs exercise.
So I joined a gym. I never thought I would do that. I hate exercise, remember? But I pushed my pride away, because I value my health more than my pride and more than my feelings. I stepped onto the elliptical machine and pushed the buttons for a 10 min work out. (Woohoo! Go me!)
I still hated it.
But I felt better. I was proud of myself for following through with my goals. I knew I was making a positive change.
But I still didn't enjoy it.
So, to motivate myself to go I would go with my roommates. They would keep me accountable, and I would keep them accountable. We would encourage one another and spur each other on.
But it was still purely discipline.
It wasn't until I started watching TV while on the elliptical that I started to be able to run longer. I realised that I needed to be distracted from running but still exercising. That's what basketball and soccer were to me. I would run so much in the games and training, but because I was distracted from what I hated I was able to participate wholeheartedly.
It's kind of like our purity.
We know what we need to do. But waiting is so painful/boring/discouraging that we often forget how beneficial it is. We don't realise that this short term 'pain' is actually setting us up for long term gain. It's a discipline. It's a practice. And there will only be a great reward when the waiting is over. Maybe you need to find something to distract you from the waiting. Maybe you need a close group of friends who can encourage you and spur you on. You may still hate the waiting. But remind yourself, "It's good for me." Do whatever you need to to participate fully in your waiting season. Be kind to yourself.
It's been 2 years now and I still hate running. But channel 39 distracts me to the point where I'm running faster and further and longer than before.
- Aimee Greig (Intern)