When we are constantly racing towards a destination, what happens to the moments we are living right now? Fast does not always mean better, many times we are in such a hurry we fail to do the necessary work it takes to build a strong base. In life details matter.
When we choose to take a stand, not yield to pressure, we learn that we can triumph over darkness. Facing the truth, we take the actions necessary to accomplish our goals, despite our fear of failure. The difficulties we will face in life are great, when we choose the right path, it may take us into unknown territory, yet if we stay the course we find what we need most.
We all want change, yet few of us define our goals. They will remain some distant dream until we decide exactly what we want. We have a choice daily to either follow the positive or let the negative take over. Change is never easy, it will bring uncertainty, failure, life lessons, even strength in mind and body.
A habit is not born in a day, change will not come with a couple of days work. It is only through diligent work, overcoming any setbacks while continuing to learn on a consistent basis that we realize progress. In life consistency is king.
What is one of the least expensive, easily portable pieces of fitness equipment available worldwide that you can own? A Jump Rope!
It is often overlooked. Most people think of using a machine when they think of warming up before getting their workout on. They jump on the treadmill for a mile, or hop on a stationary bike for ten minutes.
I prefer the jump rope. Nothing gets your blood flowing like some rope work.
The benefits may surprise you. They include engaging your upper and lower body, cardiovascular health, increased lung power, core and bone strength, lung power, speed, agility, coordination, cognitive ability and endurance.
The wear and tear on your body is minimal with a jump rope, and you can modify your jump to make it even less so. Skipping rope is not as hard on your joints as jogging is, and it can be done indoors and on softer surfaces to help reduce the impact on your joints.
Jumping rope is hard at first, so if you are one of those people who do not like doing activities that you do not excel at immediately or look great doing, then this is not for you.
At K-FIT we have a Rock Steady Boxer named Bob. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 20 years ago. He joined our Rock Steady Boxing program to fight back against the disease over a year ago, right after we first opened the gym.
Bob came in on a walker. He watched as the other fighters all jumped rope to warm up at the beginning of class. Instead, we warmed Bob up with weights, or a ball or some other piece of equipment instead. Then one day Bob said it was his goal to jump rope.
He ditched his walker, and stood shakily on his feet on the gym mats. The first day he did this, he struggled to swing the rope from behind his body to the front. With practice, Bob managed to coordinate the swing. Then one day he was able to step over the rope after swinging it, without tripping, and the whole class erupted in celebration. Eventually, Bob, who was more determined than anyone I’ve ever seen, hopped over the rope. We all went wild. Then it was 5 hops in five minutes. Then 8 hops the next class.
Sure, he still got the rope caught, or tripped. Sometimes he fell. He had days that weren’t always moving forward, but that did not deter him from keeping on. Each class during the warm-up we counted his hops and we cheered him on.
Bob would wear himself out jumping rope at the beginning of class, and then he spent the rest of the class boxing from a seated position. But he was determined to reach his goal. The day came when Bob was able to jump rope thirty-eight times in five minutes, and many of these were consecutive hops.
If Bob can do it, you can too.
Were you aware that jumping rope may help with bone density and the fight against osteoporosis? When you compare it to jogging and other forms of cardiovascular forms of exercise, the jump rope stands above because it engages the entire body.
Jumping rope is whole body synchronization, something that is not possible with a machine. Learning to breathe, relax and jump is tough. It takes time, but without a doubt it has major benefits.
So yes it is hard, but never impossible.
Get a rope and start skipping yourself to a better you.
I know that I am not the only person to have big internal battles, so today I will share a little about mine.
When my day begins roughly around 2:30 am five days a week, the first of my daily battles kicks off. I may wake up just before my alarm, in which case I wonder to myself if I should close my eyes or just get up. Often I am shocked into alertness by my alarm and I dream about what it would like to just turn it off and roll back over. I always get up, because a few minutes extra sleep will make no difference. It may sound crazy, but I enjoy getting an early start on my day.
After I have read the news and enjoyed a cup of coffee, I take my dogs out for a long hike at about 3am. During my walk I judge how banged up I am from the day before. My leg, foot, shoulder, back or a combination of them all, may hurt.
It may play out in my mind something like this: I am not going to do everything today. Maybe I’ll just do half a workout or I’ll just move around. Then I think about my end goals and I know I will do what I need to do.
The bottom line is we all struggle with many things every day. We know what we should do and yet we often settle for what is easy to do.
This is where personal responsibility comes into play. We as adults should know the cost of any decision as well as understand the reward. We are the ones who will ultimately need to take action to reach our goals.
It is hard, not fun or popular and at times we may feel like we are missing out. If we are honest with ourselves, we all know deep down what choices we should make for ourselves.
Making better choices is a learned behavior and it takes work. The good news is if we practice it, it gets easier. It may be really hard to get up before the time you usually do to get in a workout, but after a few weeks of doing it, it becomes a habit. Keeping our ultimate goals in mind is a great help when we become distracted by something. Immediate gratification is tempting, but if we change the way we look at life, we come to understand while it looks, tastes or feels good at the time it is not greater than the alternative prize.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Someone asked me the other day at the gym if I have changed the way I eat over time. I thought about it for a moment and then said to him, yes, I have. At different points in my life the knowledge I had at the time led me to believe that what I was consuming was the best for my body. As I learned more about my body and my diet, I adjusted and my diet changed.
That same idea applies to life. When we gain insight we respond with change. Before I was a Christian I chose to live my life in a hedonistic way. Once I became a Christian, I began to change. Instead of living for myself, I had surrendered my life to God. This brought about change in some profound and meaningful ways.
Now, my life is about doing what God created me to do, and has called me to do. I am determined to no longer be distracted by all the small things that really mean nothing in the scheme of eternity.
There are many things I wish I could do. I miss prospecting for gold in the desert. I would love to go train with UFC fighters in their fight camps. My life right now does not allow these things, and the reality is I do not need to do them. What I do need to do is take care of the body God has given me so that he can use me.
Living a healthy life is one of the ways I keep on the right track. If I am healthy, strong and full of energy it is much easier to make an impact on others. I have come to understand that everything I put into my body has an effect on the way I feel. It comes down to this for me: how bad is it really for my body? What will I miss if I give it up? Is it worth it?
Life is not about what we have or where we are. My location will not change my problems, or me, because I am the same person whether I am here or there.
We all have things we want to do, but putting our priorities above the things we are called to do could take us away from the path God has called us to. If our bodies break down because we don’t take care of them, we will spend our time being sick instead of useful.