Lesson 11- Squeeze
Did you think I had forgotten my fitness lessons? I have not, in fact, I have continued to loose weight throughout the stress of the end of the school year and Bill’s mom’s brain cancer. This, for me, is a new phenomenon. Usually when the stress in my life increases, so do the pounds. I eat as a comfort, when stress is high so is my appetite for high calorie comfort foods. This year I am trying to change my lifetime habits.
The word for today is squeeze. Like release, a lesson I learned not too long ago, this is a common term we use in Jazzercise. Before you can release a muscle, you have to squeeze it. Actually, the two words almost always go together during a workout, and in life as well. The focus for me at this moment is the word squeeze.
In exercise, squeezing is when you tighten the muscle you are working. When I am working with weights and I bend my arm, curling the weight up towards my shoulder I have to squeeze the muscle to do it. It takes effort, and the more times I repeat the move the more tired my muscle becomes. This kind of action breaks the muscle down so it can recover even stronger than before. I have found that there are a million ways to squeeze muscles I didn’t even know I had. You can isolate them or work them while you are in motion, either way is effective for gaining strength.
The real life parallel is obvious. Stress in life squeezes us. Most of the time we fight our stressors rather than working with them. Pain is the reason for our attempt to avoid the squeeze. It hurts. Yet we cannot avoid it any more than a woman in labor can avoid the birth of her child. When you are in labor there are times you want to quit…trust me, I know. There are times when you say no more. I cannot do it. I will not do it! Yet the next contraction comes anyway. I have found the best way to get through the pain is to hit it head on and trust that God knows what the outcome will be. Life is painful. That will never change…it is what we do with the squeeze that makes us or breaks us. Ultimately, after a time of releasing, it makes us stronger. There is a purpose behind the pain.
Our family is in a time of squeezing right now. It is not comfortable. We do not know the ending. It is difficult to watch Louise suffer frustration. It is hard to know how to best help Ray care for her. However, I know that with the squeeze also comes release. Knowing that God is in control and putting it all at his feet. Knowing that after this season, however long it lasts, whatever its outcome…I will be stronger because of it.
Physically, I am getting stronger as I continue my daily workouts. I want to be ready for the challenge of the 3-day walk in October. In order for that to happen, I have to squeeze my old life-habits into new fit ones. I have to squeeze old mindsets into new healthy ones. I have to allow the squeezing in my life to have its way in my heart…to change my life…to take back my life, and to walk so that others can have theirs as well. You can support this walk, by supporting me in my attempt. Go to http://www.the3day.org and search for my name.