Oh, I did try to be loyal, faithful even, but it was hard work. I seemed to be the one doing all the giving and so I would give up for a time until I realised how foolish that was and I’d make the effort to try again. I don’t remember how many times I tried but never succeeded, that was until two years ago.
Maybe my expectations changed or finally I saw the importance of the relationship, but in February 2018 I finally committed for the long term. I can’t say it’s been smooth sailing but I know I’ve benefitted immeasurably.
Where once I had to force myself to go to the gym, now it’s become as much a part of my live as eating breakfast or cleaning my teeth. We still have little in common, the structure and regimentation do little to inspire my creative heart, but the changes in my health and well being far outweigh the discipline it takes to stay committed.
I find it easy to be dedicated to the things I enjoy, the things that feed my soul, but life is so much bigger than the easy things. The things that require discipline, courage, determination and hard work give back in full measure. And they are the things that test and stretch me, the measuring stick that gauges my potential.
I fear dying, never having discovered what I’m truly capable of or having tasted the full gamut of experiences open to me. I don't want to die regretting the things I didn't attempt. I want to discover who am I when the stakes are high, when the challenges fill me with fear and trepidation? What do I have to lose and what do I stand to gain?
And that’s the problem isn’t it? I’d rather not go down a road when the way ahead is filled with mist and there’s no guarantee of what’s beyond. But I’ll never know what benefits are hidden there unless I go in boots and all; face the unknown and undiscovered with heart and eyes wide open and a determination to make the most of every experience.
To my surprise, my time at the gym has done so much more than improve my health. I’ve met inspirational people, people with major disabilities who persevere and struggle on, unwilling to give in to limitations. People in their 80s and 90s who refuse to allow age to define them. Caring supportive people whose one aim is to help me be the best I can be.
I’m not suggesting that you rush out and join a gym but just be open to opportunities that may not have your name on them, but may help you find dimensions in yourself that you could never have imagined. Determine to head down the mist filled valleys and stay open to all they have to offer you, you too might be surprised.