So. I have recently started at the gym. What was I thinking?!
I have only had two sessions – it’s only been a week, give me a break! – but already I have the sore muscles that generally plague someone who has not seriously exercised since high school. Unless, of course, you count getting out of the car to go to the bakery or bottle shop…No? Oh. Well, then, I haven’t exercised since high school.
Typically, you hear people say things along the lines of muscles they didn’t even know they had being sore. So according to that criteria, I definitely am typical.
I am not only sore in muscles I didn’t know I had, I am also extremely sore in the muscles I did know I had, which, not coincidentally, are the ones I use the most. The others, the ones I didn’t know were there, are sore, mainly because I obviously don’t use them that much. Still with me?
Contemplating my sore muscles on the way home from the gym, whilst also being thankful I drive an automatic which does not require me to put pressure on a clutch pedal, I thought about how much like character traits our muscles are.
Let me explain.
We have lots of character traits that we don’t even know are there. For some of us, it’s kindness, the ability to listen, or consideration of others. For others it might be boldness, risk-taking or decision making. The point is, we all have parts of us that we don’t exercise often. So, when we do, it may hurt at first and feel uncomfortable. But, just like exercising our muscles, it doesn’t mean we should stop using them. It actually means the opposite – we should use them more.
Only by consistently going to the gym and working out, will my muscles grow stronger and become used to the exercise. In the same way, by flexing those under-used character traits, they will become a stronger part of who we are.
And as a bonus, using those little-used character traits often causes us to use our regular ones a bit more too, just like a gym workout.
So, as I embrace the pain of working muscles I didn’t even know I had, I might try to carry that over into the rest of my life and start exerting my character too.
I think I will start with…hmm, let’s see…maybe, not thinking of ways to torture my gym instructor the way he is torturing me each workout?
Oh and if anyone wants to come join me, we can share the
torture love around.