I challenged the girls in my class to a push-up contest; in the end it became a push-up or sit-up contest just to allow for different body types. Anyway, I promised one piece of candy for every repetition–I have ulterior motives due to an upcoming lesson: I need to know how many they can do when pushed to the limit of their ability–I'm supposed to reward them if they can double their number in a given time-frame.
I figured on about ten to twenty per girl on their first try.
It's a good thing I didn't offer a quarter per push-up like I was going to! I'd be mortgaging my house. One twelve-year-old girl did 100 sit-ups. One Hundred! Who could have predicted that?! These were honest-to-goodness sit-ups, and I think she only quit after 100 because she got bored. I swear she wasn't even perspiring! What, in a month she's really going to come back and do two hundred?
I know I'm physically pathetic–I get that. I pummel myself regularly about my inability to fit in any kind of regular physical exercise–my only claim to a non-sedentary lifestyle is my job–I am on my feet twelve to sixteen hours a day. But 100 sit-ups?
I just got down on the mat and tried–I can do twelve before my brains start to bulge out my ears; I'd report on push-ups, too, but my wrists would probably snap and then I'd really be sedentary because I'd no longer have a job at all.
I've always toed the line–whoever drew it, my whole life. I always turned in my library books, kept my hands and feet inside the vehicle, fastened the seatbelts, ate the vegetation, earned a 4.0 GPA, attended every church meeting, read, prayed, studied, said Yes, I can do that for you–I'm pretty compliant. So why is it that I've been able to tune out all the admonitions toward physical health? Hmmm?
This lesson I have to teach next week is proof positive that the commandment to care for our physical health is just as binding as the commandment to serve one another or to be honest, and yet I've managed to avoid the issue my entire life.
I get up there every Sunday and I assure these girls that all things are possible; that they can make positive changes, they can succeed, they can achieve. I cannot get up there and promise them things I don't believe are true in my own life–and so the question raging today is how? I believe the principle is true; I doubt my own capacity–I have, after all, been starting and failing exercise routines for twenty years. Maybe the real question is why? Why do I fail and how do I avoid failing again?