I saw these stairs at a house we recently visited and because the house was three stories, I went up and down these stairs dozens of times while we were there.
I even remarked to one of my older children that I would have avoided these stairs like the plague if I had been 305 pounds. And it’s true.
During this visit, if I needed something on the first floor I would hike down the two flights of stairs to get it and hike back up those same stairs without a second thought.
Not so when I was overweight. I avoided the physically hard things whenever possible. That meant I found the elevator in malls and tried to never climb the stairs. I rode the escalator up and down in airports rather than negotiating the stairs, and I was the person who volunteered to stay with the smaller children during field trips to the nature museum rather than hike the trails with the older kids.
Avoiding hard things may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but in reality that avoidance just ended up hurting me. Instead of building more steps into my day, I sat down as much as possible in order to avoid getting winded or feeling more tired than I already did.
I think in some ways I was just lazy and a bit afraid of what physical activity might do to me. I was worried that I would hurt myself instead of admitting how much I was hurting myself by always choosing the easy way out. I was worried about what people would think if they saw my 300 pound self huffing down the road. I should not have worried about those things at all.
Once I started avoiding the hard things I realized that those hard things did not hurt me, but instead helped me. They helped me physically but also helped me mentally. My confidence in myself increased ten-fold and my emotional well-being increased even more.
I think it is human nature to avoid the hard things in life. Even now I have to push myself to try hard things. I challenged myself to swim a mile and I was very nervous to build up to that. But after a few months I did it. I did it slowly, but I completed the one mile swim in our university’s pool. And I was proud.
I wonder if you are at all like me and find yourself sometimes avoiding the hard things. If you are, I’d challenge you to find one hard thing you’d like to do and make a plan to get it done. My hard thing right now is to build up to walking 5 miles three times a week. Right now I do 3 to 3.5 miles very consistently, but know I can do more.
What hard thing have you avoided or what hard thing have you done recently? Diane