40 Days Of Exercise
A couple nights ago I got home from work with tense shoulders and pain in my lower back. This is a regular condition for me resulting from a bad combination of poor desk posture and too many hours on the computer. I was headed for the medicine cabinet when it hit me that what I needed was not an Advil, but exercise. So I put on a sweatshirt, pulled my bicycle out of the shed, and headed for the hills. Which isn't hard because we live in them. I set a few goals and pedaled like crazy. When I reached them, I was breathing hard and barely able to stay upright on the bike. My heart seemed to be trying to crawl out my throat. But I could feel my body warming up and the stiffness falling away. When I got home, I felt refreshed, new again.
This morning I stood in line to be marked with ashes to begin 40 days of another kind of exercise. Just like the hills on the bike, I am approaching Lent this year with some trepidation. Exercise isn't very comfortable. At least not until afterwards. Repentance doesn't come naturally to me. To be honest, I'd prefer the role of recommending it to other people, providing commentary on it in beautifully abstract terms. I'm good at observation. Not so much at participation.
But I've decided that one of the things that this year is about is Getting In The Water. This covers a great many things, but with respect to this issue it means setting my heart out there in the open. It means trusting, even when it's not comfortable and when it doesn't seem safe. It means being willing to be changed.
So, here goes, I'm jumping in, hands clenched, eyes closed tight, but I'm jumping.