Are you challenging yourself?

I believe that it is impossible to maintain the status quo for very long. We are either improving or getting worse. I don’t want to go back to where I was, so I will continue moving forward. If that means that one-day I run a marathon or bench 400 lbs, it will be because that is where my body took me, not because that was my goal. Reality is that eventually I will not be as strong or move as well. I hope it isn’t because of medical issues, but rather old age. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I am determined to persevere as I have for the past 4 years. I have had many setbacks during that time, but I know I can only fail if I stop trying. I will continue to fall down, but I will get back up. I will continue to have doubts about my future, but I will still make plans. When one doctor says I can’t be fixed, I will look for another who says I can. I will continue to push myself, to move forward, because to not push would be to risk losing all that I have gained since the day of the accident. I will not go back there without a fight.

In order to move forward, I continually try to challenge myself. I am always looking for new ways to make myself “uncomfortable”. As I continue to get in better shape I realize it never gets easier, I just get stronger. If it is easy, then I am not pushing. With that belief in mind, I decided to sign up to run the Warrior Dash. It is described as, “a 3.38 mile race with 12 obstacles from hell waiting for you along the course.” (You can check out this video to get a better idea what I am in for.) I will be surrounding myself with good friends who are also training to run this race. I will be introducing each of them as I get closer to the June 17th race.
If you are like my mother, you may be asking, “Why?” after watching the video. This blog post is intended to not only introduce my next challenge, but to also explain why I work out as hard as I do.

Most people have heard the saying, “Give to it hurts.” For me it has become more about giving to it stops hurting. I blog and speak and raise money because it helps others, but I also do it because it helps me. My pain and suffering needs to have meaning. Without meaning, it would be too much to take.

I lift weights and run because the stronger I am, the more I can give of myself. A lot of people want to focus on my exercise regiment as an example of what hard work and determination can accomplish. They believe that my ultimate goal should be to run great distances and lift a ton of weight. I will do both things, but not because that is the pinnacle of fitness success. I will do these things because it is the result of my ongoing commitment to my family to not only be around, but to truly be there for them. Being fit needs to serve a greater purpose for me. Otherwise, it would be impossible for me to sustain it long-term.

I challenge each of you to make room in your busy lives to exercise. Do it for you and do it for the good of others. When you hear the saying “fit for life,” do you think of being fit for a lifetime? I look at those words and I think, “Be fit so you can get the most out of life.” Fit people make better parents, better significant others, better employees, better friends and better volunteers. In short, being fit gives you the energy and ability you need to give more of yourself. I could not have accomplished half of the things I have since the accident without dedicating myself to exercise. It is the very best medicine I was ever given!

So, now it is your turn. Are you challenging yourself? My prayer is that everyone who reads this post will commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It really is amazing the effect it will have on your life and the lives of those around you. Over the next few weeks I will be writing about my race training as well as ways in which we have been able to use the experience to give back. I encourage you to take up a challenge of your own and come along on the journey. Find me on Facebook or Twitter and tell me what you doing, or write it here and keep updating your progress. Let’s motivate each other to get our goal. No goal is too small if it has you moving in the right direction. Remember, there was a time not that long ago that my goal was to just standup. There is no better time to started then right now!