One time, about five or ten years ago, I prayed for humility.
I did not pray for it repeatedly. A soon as I prayed for it, I realized what I had done and quickly decided I was not up for that challenge. I decided to, instead, pray for something much more attainable.... like world peace.
As it turns out, God has a great memory.
In the last ten years, I have been humbled in every way imaginable. Don't get me wrong....I still have my areas of pride that I have to work on continually, but they are not still there for lack of lessons on God's part. They are still there due to a hard head and slow learning on my part.
This past week, I saw some pictures of myself that were, frankly, disgusting. It took me a minute to even recognize myself. Instead of letting it depress me, I have tried to use it as motivation...new-found motivation to train for the triathlon in September (I still can't say that without laughing). One of the things that has held me back from exercising these last few years were my feet. No matter what activity I did or what shoes I wore, my feet would hurt...I mean excruciatingly so....I felt like I was being stabbed. I have been to orthopedists and podiatrists and no one had answers I could afford.
Two days ago, I decided I was going to find some shoes, no matter what. I spent hours shopping for shoes that would feel good on my too wide, very flat feet, and would also fit my budget. Without boring you with details, I will just say that I found some I was SURE would work. I did laps around the store in them (yes....it was a sight to see) with no pain, so as far as I was concerned, I was good to go!
This morning (Saturday), we woke up and decided as a family that we were going to the Y to workout. I downloaded some new music onto Jeff's MP3 that he so graciously was willing to let me use (I never did figure Alyssa's out, and she wanted it back anyway), and I was pumped and ready to go. I danced all the way out the door to the car and knew I was going to knock it out at the gym. I went in, put my new shoes on, and hopped onto the track. Two laps later, I couldn't even walk because my feet hurt so bad.
AAAAAGGGHHH!!!! What in the world is it going to take for me to exercise without foot pain?
So anyway, I very calmly strolled to the bike, as if that's where I was headed anyway, but that even hurt my feet. I really thought I was going to cry. I stood up and started some stretches against the wall, praying that would help.
Still no relief.
I had a decision to make. I wanted to leave. However, before we left the house today, Jeff said,
"Jeannie, do you want to drive separately? Alyssa and I are going to be working out for a good, solid hour, and last time you looked bored after about 20 minutes."
"No way, Jose. I have good shoes and good music, and you are probably going to be waiting on me!"
(See how that pride gets me in trouble?)
He reluctantly agreed, and we proceeded to the gym. So after two laps, I was not ABOUT to tell Mr. Bryant that I needed to go home, so I did the next best thing. I limped down the stairs to the front desk and whined like a baby to the lady at the front desk about how bad my feet hurt and "what in the world can I do to help my feet?"
Thankfully I have come to know her pretty well these last few months, and she was very supportive. She tried to get a personal trainer to the desk to answer some questions, but there was not one around. (They probably hid when they realized it was the crazy woman with crazy children.) While we talked, however, I did a lot of stretches (using the desk to push against), and my feet seemed to feel better. So, once again, I headed to the workout room.
Well, I still don't have my act together there, either. I hopped on that blasted elliptical that, once again, nearly killed me in the first thirty seconds. Then I realized that I had forgotten to pick up a bottle of sanitizer from the desk. I proceeded to ask the lady beside me if I could use hers. She was willing to let me use the spray, but looked at me like she was completely disgusted that I wanted to use her cloth...so I went to the desk to get her another one. At that point, she was giving me such strange looks I could not humiliate myself any further by trying to exercise beside her.
I turned around and hopped on a bike for about two seconds, but couldn't get the height adjusted correctly without looking inept. (Event though I pretty much am inept where workout equipment is concerned.)
It was then that I considered giving up.
But I looked up to the track and Jeff and Alyssa were going strong. Ugh! I could not let them see me quit...so I went to get a drink of water, found some music that would get my heart thumping, and jumped on a treadmill. I was going strong. The beat was going, I couldn't hear a thing around me, I was snapping and had a little hop in my step. I really wanted to DANCE! (However, I was sure trying to dance on a treadmill would be my most embarrassing feat yet.)
People were starting to look at me. It started out as sly, half-way, 'I'm not looking at you but I really am' kind of looks.
I just knew they were jealous...I thought, "I bet they would LOVE to know what I am listening to. I'll never tell. I'm just gonna make them wonder."
I was just a gettin' it!
But people continued to look, but in larger numbers and they were being much more obvious about it, and I was beginning to get a little self-conscious. I still wrote it off to jealousy ( as if! ), and kept on going with a big ol' smile on my face.
I knew my breathing was getting a little heavy, so I tried to slow that down, but no matter what I tried, people were still looking at me.
I was feeling the beat and felt like I was getting a real workout, but could not figure out why in the world people were staring. I had no zipper to be 'down' in my elastic waistband shorts. I knew I cleaned my mouth after breakfast, and I had not used the restroom there, so I knew there was no toilet paper hanging from my shoe.
What are they looking at????
Well, as it turns out, the beat I was feeling was not just in my music. Apparently, every time I stepped my heavy foot on that treadmill, it was going, "Bang...Bang...Bang...Bang....", and had been doing so for at least fifteen minutes. Oh, brother. I am beginning to wonder if I will ever go to the Y without embarrassing myself.
So I slowed everything down, finished my workout, and my visions of dancing and singing on the stage of my imagination were wiped away with my sanitizing spray.
At that point Alyssa and Jeff were finished and were waiting on me, so it looked like I had actually worked out longer (only, Jeff is no dummy). I went to the restroom with Emilie so we could get our stuff. I changed back into my old shoes and turned around to find Emilie had disappeared. She had stepped around the corner to put some chap stick on before leaving the gym. She quickly reappeared with shiny lips, her purse on her bent arm, and her pink sequin scarf. At least that girl knows what her priorities are and keeps at them. :-)
And so the "get in shape" saga continues....I am sure there will be many more adventures to come. However, I am hoping they become fewer and farther between. Jeff has always said that I enter every room with a story, and it always begins with, "You will NOT believe what happened to me." It was one of the things he fell in love with, so at least I have not disappointed my man. In spite of so many other things changing in our lives, it seems this has been a constant...at least I'm consistent. :-)
And don't worry, I will NOT be praying for humility again for a VERY LONG TIME!!
Have a blessed day!!