Muscling Through January
The second half of January has always been somewhat difficult for me. There is not one specific reason that I know of; but rather a combination of things that cause the sort of melancholy that sets in during this time of year. Winter has settled in with its short, cold days. “Snow days” tend to cause a bit of disconnect between home, work and friends. Christmas has been packed away, taking with it the excitement and anticipation that led up to it. Family members have traveled back to the parts of the country that they now live in. New Year’s resolutions are now several weeks old, and the difficulty of sticking with them is abundantly clear. Yes, January is definitely my least favorite time of the year.
This year I have been determined to once again fight the doldrums; trying some things that have worked in the past as well as some new things that I haven’t attempted before. Probably the most monumental change for me this year is that I am tackling fitness. For too many years I have shoved personal fitness to the back burner for many reasons; not the least of which is that it felt almost selfish to spend so much time focusing on myself when there is so much to do for others. Add to that the fact that I truly dislike “working out,” and that my knees are a mess, and it has been very convenient to continue to avoid true exercise. Oh, I’ve been going several times a week to the local gym, but in designing my own program I have made all easy choices that have made my sessions less than productive.
Last week, I started a seven week session with a personal trainer. The first session with her made it obvious to me that my previous workouts at the gym have been fairly fruitless. My 30 minutes on the recumbent bicycle, as well as 30 minutes on machines that I chose by their difficulty level (easy), haven’t exactly bumped up my level of fitness. While better than doing nothing at all, they haven’t been improving my fitness level in a way that is effective. Wow- have these past two weeks been eye opening for me.
Yesterday’s session was a perfect example. We started with a fitness test to determine my baseline levels in several areas including cardio, planks, push-ups, squats, etc. When we completed the test items, my trainer commented that we were now going to start our workout. My inner self wanted to whimper, “What? That doesn’t count as our workout?” Not only had I gotten up an hour and a half ahead of my usual start, but my muscles were already shaking from the previous tasks. Just a glimpse into how much work is ahead of me if I want to reclaim the fitness level that I once enjoyed.
In addition to improving my fitness this year, I am attempting to stay more disciplined in some other areas as well. Although I have read the Bible through in the past, it has always been a struggle for me to keep up with the reading. Once I fall behind for a day or two, I feel overwhelmed and end up skipping some portions and picking up where I left off. This year I have found an awesome app for my Kindle that has helped me so much. Not only does it give me the readings one day at a time – a Psalm, and Old Testament reading, and a New Testament reading – but it has commentary if I have time to read it and also allows me to go back to days or portions that I missed. (The little circle doesn’t disappear by each day until I have read all three portions). Through using the app I hope to actually keep up with my reading for the entire year. *
Add to these things my desire to purge the clutter from my home, to help my sweet little Mommy through all of her life changes this year, and to love on two precious little grandsons, and I have plenty to keep me motivated to make it through the winter blues. Hopefully you can join me in muscling through the remainder of winter in anticipation of brighter things to come. Besides – the snow is beautiful, the days are getting longer, and spring is around the corner.
- App is Bible in one Year, with commentary by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel.