Four summers ago some friends and I started meeting on Monday nights for an outdoor workout. It began as a 30-minute walk followed by some strength training. At the time it was a good workout for us and where we were physically…and I know I always left feeling like I’d had a good workout.
When the weather became colder, we moved our workouts to the school gym, where we’d run stairs and then do more strength and cardio fun. Yes, fun. 😉
And then a running club began in the spring, and by the next summer a lot of us were running three or more miles and then doing more exercising after that.
And slowly over the course of the next months and years, our workout night continued to morph and become even more difficult.
And those Monday nights have continued over the last years as we’ve tried to hold each other accountable in the journey of being healthy and becoming stronger.
Our latest adventure has been a series of Beachbody workouts, ranging from hardcore cardio to too many squats, from planking to killer ab moves that make me want to say bad words.
This journey of working out has been a good one, but it’s also been a hard one.
There’s been a lot of trying with everything I have…of pushing myself beyond what I probably should some days. And the trying can sometimes feel impossible…like the results are out of my control.
Because they usually are.
I remember a specific workout a few weeks ago. It was brutally difficult…and there was a point when we were doing burpees, and I seriously couldn’t do another one. I just couldn’t. I had to stop and breathe before I pushed myself, once more, down into that dreaded pushup-but-much-worse position.
Resting became necessary before I could even continue.
Part of me that saw that as failure because, of course, I want to be that girl who can sweat like nothing else as she pushes even harder through anything that’s thrown at her. I always want to come out victorious with an absolutely perfect record.
However, we all have our limits, and I had certainly found one of mine. (<====Tweet this.)
And honestly, once I’d given myself those fifteen-or-so seconds of breathing time, I was able to push through the rest of our workout.
I still finished it, I still burned calories. (And I probably still went home and had cake because that’s just what I do.)
And I was thinking about that workout today again as I processed the last two years and a dream I’ve been chasing.
It’s a dream a lot of people have, and this dreamer is no exception.
In my head, I’ve always had a perfectly ordered dream going. Build the blog while I write a rough draft. Gain tons of followers. Pitch my book to agents and, of course, find the perfect publisher who will turn it into a bestseller
Please don’t wake me up. 😉
Most of me knew it wouldn’t be quite that easy…but I don’t think I was expecting the journey to be quite so difficult, either.
I wasn’t expecting a year of so few words or the doubt that began to creep in. I wasn’t expecting the blog to become so quiet or for the desire of going deep, not wide.
Everything changed…and those changes didn’t point to writing and publishing a book.
And so, I gave myself permission to stop and breathe.
I needed the time to rest and think and pray through everything…because in the marathon of chasing a huge dream, I was starting to see that it couldn’t be a sprint. (<====Tweet this.)
There has to be time to breathe…no matter the dream or the blood, sweat, and tears required.
And in the breathing, I found that it was okay. More than okay.
And I came to the conclusion that I wanted to share my stories on my blog instead of publishing them.
There are times when I wish I’d kept pushing toward the goal I’d always planned, but I also have to trust that there’s a reason He has in me in this time of quiet…and that there’s a purpose for my dream taking a different path.
And so today and in this season, I am stopping to breathe and redirect…because I know, from experience, that the break will be just what I need to keep chasing down whatever it is He has planned in the future.
Whatever it is, I know it will be good.
Because the dreams don’t go away just because one takes a different path.
I don’t know where you are in your journey, friend, but I do know that sometimes we get tired.
We wonder what His plan is exactly…and the unknown can feel overwhelming.
Go ahead and take that break if you need to…because it’s okay to breathe.
Shared By: Mel Schroeder
Photo Credit: jimmy brown