"I Can Do Hard Things"
The term “runners high” is a myth. A runners high is merely a sweaty wave passed between fellow sufferers.
In the New Years Fireside given to the youth, Susan Tanner said “I have learned that I can do hard things” So have I.
Exercise for me is hard. There are certain unpleasant things that I know I must do that payoff later rather than sooner. These include, putting money in a savings account, childbirth, cleaning out the van, laundry . . . the list is infinite. Every morning I wake up in a state of justification “I can’t go today, I swear I will go tomorrow. I was up all night with the baby, too tired, too rainy, too cold, too dark, too hot, too windy, too sore.
Tithing is a principle of faith not finances. We learn that paying the first ten percent of a paycheck is easier than the last ten percent. It is easier to exercise the first one percent of the day than the last. It is a fact that it is harder to lose weight and keep it off without exercise. Two years ago, my husband was called to teach early morning seminary. I tried to exercise in the afternoon, evening, even during the day, taking my kids with me. But in the afternoon, I was too tired, or too busy driving kids here and there, the evening I wanted to be with my husband, or watch a show, or relax, and my walks during the day were filled with toddlers straining to get out of the stroller and push themselves.
My only other choice was to get up at 5:15 and go out. The first few mornings were the hardest. I fumbled around, opening drawers in the dark trying to find clothing. I became frustrated trying to find the headphones that were “borrowed” By the time I got ready It was time for my husband to leave and I crawled back into bed.
In a child psychology class I was told that toddlers become out of control or frustrated often because they are placed in situations where they cannot succeed. For example I know that Eliza (2) hates grocery shopping, she wants to run around and explore things. She will not stay in the cart. If she is placed in the cart she will throw a fit. I can choose to take her and teach her, which takes time and patience, or I can leave her home. If I go ahead and take her with the idea that I will just rush in and rush out, without the willingness to have patience and teach, I have just placed my daughter in a situation where she cannot succeed. I could have brought her favorite book, gone to the bakery for the free cookie, had her carry around a box of cereal, or let her greet everyone we pass. If I make no provisions for her, I should not be surprised if she throws a tantrum. It is not right to be angry with her; I knew she would have a problem before I went in. If I did not find a way to help make it fun, or even as painless as possible, the person who needs the time out is me.
I believe that when it comes to doing hard things we become like toddlers. We must put ways that we can succeed before the actual event. Every night before I go to bed, I layout my work out clothes, every part, even my socks and shoes. I put my ipod on top, make sure it is charged, and loaded with interesting things to listen too, good podcasts, or motivational music. I have a deal with my husband that when the alarm goes off he has to tell me, “come on, get out of bed.” He has to be willing to pull me out if I don’t get up. He cannot be willing to listen to my reasons why I can’t go this morning. Sometimes he is frightened. He has learned to do hard things too.
I still don’t love to exercise right away. I get stitches in my side, my knee hurts, I want to throw up, I am breathing hard and I am sweaty. Sometimes, not often, there are moments that I look out at the sky turning bright, smell fresh air, hear birds and feel happy. The biggest payoff comes every day at one o’clock I feel glad I did it. My muscles feel a bit tighter and I feel good.
A missionary once told me that the Lord puts us in the refiner’s fire to make us strong, and that if we aren’t there, we should jump back in.
The refiners fire in exercise is getting to the point of uncomfortable and then going a bit farther. I started with walking 3 - 15 minute miles, when that got to be a non face reddening non – pit smelling, non sweat dripping into my eyes experience, I had to go harder. 4 miles, at 14 min each, can I do 13 min miles? I found that If I pushed really hard, I could walk a 12 minute mile. Why not run 1 minute and walk 3 - do you get where this is going? It has always got to be a bit harder every few weeks. If you can’t do this alone, pray for a workout partner. I have done that many times and have found some of my best friends that way. Pray that you can succeed, and then you can. “If ye have faith ye can do all things” Moroni 10:23 remember, it is good to get Heavenly Father involved.
I hope I don’t sound like a circuit preacher or an info-mercial, I swear I am not planning to sell you a thing. Some of you I know and love, and have asked how I lost weight. This is how. It starts by doing hard things.