FOR the first time in almost two years, I was nervous about going to the gym.
It was “test” week, a block of training where I was going to gauge where my strength levels were. After spinning my wheels and being very conservative with my exercise selection, it was now time to see how much weight I could handle without folding in half like an accordion. Now I feel beat up, and my legs feel like they have just gone through a meat grinder, but the overall take-home I had was I hadn’t regressed from the time that life had taken over.
I think it was necessary for me to go through a “test” week since I had been coasting by on my general fitness preparedness. I mean I would still exercise, but I would sometimes put in less than the effort needed to induce any positive change in my body. Understandable, as other things were my priority. But every now and then a good challenge pops up, and I have to convince myself to take it and see how far from my comfort zone I can get. As scared as I was, I’m glad I took the test week seriously.
We all squirm at any attempt to dislodge us from our “safe places.” It’s called safe for a reason, after all. But like the hermit crab that keeps transferring shells to accommodate its growth, we also have an obligation to ourselves and our community to push against our boundaries and strive to be “bigger than our bodies,” as John Mayer puts it. How else are we supposed to progress if we keep staring at the shore instead of setting sail?
This is not to say all “tests” are created equal. Some will require more effort than others and, for some, may not be quickly resolved in a week or so. The Hong Kong protesters (whether you agree with them or not) probably won’t be able to answer you when their “test” will be over. They simply have to push on and endure despite the overwhelming majority telling them to stand down and let the system do its work (people don’t want to disrupt the comfort and familiarity of a system in place for decades). It may be a “test” like the late Gina Lopez’s, where she gave up the comforts of home to be a missionary for 11 years. Since not all of us know the end of our “tests,” the best we can hope for is to endure and to have a clear mind to absorb the lessons and growth along the way.
When was the last time you tested yourself academically? Physically? Spiritually? Maybe it’s time to identify areas where you feel you are on cruise control and “test” yourself.