“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.”
― Samuel Johnson, The Life Of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 4
Diligence. Look at the tree. How long did it take for the tree to not only grow that tall, but that wide? You will not grow overnight. You will, some! But through diligence and persistence, you will grow, and one day, you will look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
There is excitement when you start a new thing – a new workout routine, a road trip (think of the ride TO vacation versus the ride HOME from vacation), a relationship, a move, a new job .. anything! There is excitement in new beginnings.
What happens when the new glow wears off? It’s week 3 (or maybe only week 2!) of your new exercise routine and program. What do you do? Well – take the ride home from vacation example .. you go anyway!
We may stumble, we may fall sometimes and it may be awkward at other times, but if we are diligent to walk out the plan, it will get easier and we will get our desired ends!
You have to continue. Sometimes, it won’t feel good. Sometimes, it will suck! I am being honest. For example – I went for a run 2 weeks ago on a Tuesday. I was wrapping up some work in the afternoon when I headed out of the studio. I saw the clouds above rolling in and the downpour began 1 mile into my 6 mile tempo run. Alright .. whatever. I am in a tank and shorts. Mentally, I was alright. Then, the wind picked up .. and I don’t mean a little 6 mph breeze .. I mean constant wind and then gusts of who knows how hard but it was blowing myself and others almost over.
I want to tell you – I completed that run.
We have to use our God-given ability to think .. I was supposed to finish that run, personally, I knew that. That is why I did. But maybe another day I would have headed back home with 2 miles in for the day. There was no lightning, no thunder, just heavy rain whipping me with the wind. By the time I finished, the temperature must have dropped 10-15 degrees, my thumbs were numb, and my entire body was beat red, cold, and soaked. But my reward was far greater. My mental capabilities were tested that day – and it felt great to pass the test with flying colors (haha, red).
There is, however, wisdom and balance to be found and used here. If my safety were in danger with thunder and lightning, that would have been a different story. We will talk about BALANCE soon.
I tell that story to tell you – I had a goal to get a PR (personal record) in my 10k. I diligently trained – when I picked up my training, I followed my schedule and did not put it down except to keep my body healthy and injury-free (that’s important!). For 6 weeks, I ran 6x/week and had specific workouts to complete within those runs. I got my PR. I got much more than just my PR – I got personal respect, I got wisdom, and I got the joy of running it .. among other things.
I did not feel like running each day of my training. Now however, I do love it, so I did enjoy many of my runs in the warm spring sun. But also, I began running almost 4 years ago now. I have developed this habit. I am very grateful for it. But I do remember when I began running, some days .. were tough. And those were the days to suck it up and lace up my shoes and go out and run my run. Usually, by the end, I felt way better than if I had stayed home on the couch and threw in the towel.
So I conclude with this thought for you – you’ve got the vision. You’ve got the plan. Will you follow it? In your fitness, in your relationship with God, your relationship with your significant other, your kids, your work?
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and remember that it’s not always about emotion and how we feel at any given moment, but what we want and have committed to, that should drive our actions.