Earlier this year, I vowed to myself that I would always say yes to the crazy things I didn’t believe that I could do or that I have never done before. Because of this vow, I ended up taking some amazing trips, stepped outside of my comfort zone in ways that shocked myself, and said yes to a lot of crazy workout plans…
Yes, workout plans. Which is why a couple weeks ago I shimmied my way into a spin class at my gym for the first time… ever. It was run by an extremely excited woman with really good legs. I really didn’t understand how someone could be so excited about cycling in one place in a hot, dark room, but we all have our “thing” I guess. As I looked around the room, there were people of different shapes, sizes, age, and gender, but the one thing they all had in common is that they all seemed like pros. They looked comfortable on their bikes, brought towels and cute water bottles, and even knew each others’ names!
I don’t know what it is about me, but I hate being the “new girl” in the room. Maybe it’s my pride of wanting to be the best or my perfectionism that wants to look like I have it all together, but regardless, the feeling of not knowing what the heck I’m doing 1. is terrifying and 2. makes me feel so dumb.
I felt an instant jolt in me to run out the doors, but after locking eyes with the instructor, I felt obligated to stay. So I mounted my stationary bike and followed the class through the standing, sitting, shifting, cycling, and turning of resistance knobs.
Mid-way through I was getting so discouraged. I felt like I was ready to pass out, while everyone else is still spinning ferociously around me. “Turn up the resistance!” my instructor would chime cheerfully, but I felt like if I turned that knob one more time, my legs might explode. As I looked around, no one else was turning theirs up either. It’s why granny on the other side of the room was able to go so fast and I was struggling- my resistance was higher. It burned. It sucked.
Truth be told, my life looks like this. I often look around and see a lot of people going faster than me. They are graduating earlier, getting the jobs of their dreams, beginning to date and get married. They are watching their ministries flourish, their dreams and visions come to fruition, and they’re receiving revelation every time they open the Bible (while sometimes I’m struggling to even read!!). I’m discouraged. I feel stuck. I feel like the resistance on my life bike is terribly high, and all i can think is, “what is wrong with me?”
“What is wrong with me?” is a thought I hear frequently. Am I not good enough? Not strong enough? Not smart enough? Not pretty enough? Do I not have what it takes? Am I too much? Too little? The list can continue forever…
And maybe you’ve heard these thoughts too. Maybe you are entering this season and this new year and you are feeling like me- your resistance is up and the only stance you want to take on it is lying down. In your bed. Going to sleep. Escaping it all and not having to push through.
You have tried so hard time and time again to achieve that goal, that dream, that ambition, but something is always holding you back. You feel like your race is harder and going faster takes more effort. You don’t feel good at it. You don’t feel as smart. You aren’t as talented. You aren’t as… (fill in your not good enough adjective here).
I get it. I do. But in that cycling class I believe that God taught me the most valuable lesson on resistance and my stance on it: No one gets better without resistance. Think about it… to build muscle and to get stronger, we must turn up our resistance, right? It only makes sense. In the cycling class those who had no resistance went faster, but they weren’t GROWING any muscle, they were only moving.
When I hop off my life cycle, I don’t just want to move through my life. I want to GROW. I want to grow character and strength. I want to learn what it means to have endurance and stamina in the times that I want to give up. I want to embrace my resistance.
So no more convincing myself that I’m not good enough just because I feel resistance in my life. No more backing down and being a coward when the knob gets turned up on my cycle. No more taking out my measuring stick and looking around for comparisons.
Instead, I will face opposition and resistance head on. Ready to push through and ready to fight, knowing that on the other side of it is growth. Growth that may not feel good or make me look good in the sight of others, but will stretch me and prune me into the person I am called to be. It won’t be pretty, but it WILL be worth it.
Here’s to another year of rising up against resistance.
What’s your stance?