During this morning’s workout, I had an awakening. (The gym is as good for moving your mind and spirit as it is for moving your body.)
While I struggled to want to finish all five rounds of the workout, I winced, convinced it would take me forever. And I said what I said—I didn’t struggle to finish the rounds. I struggled to want to finish.
I am a power athlete, not an endurance athlete. And until this morning, I assumed my body is what makes that so. But in my fourth round of a 200 meter run, 10 hang power cleans (unbroken at a challenging weight), 53 single-unders, and 10 push jerks (also unbroken, same weight as the cleans), I saw something I hadn’t seen before.
I always pick power over endurance.
Yeah, I’ll agree to do one thruster at 95 pounds before I’ll agree to do several of them with an empty barbell.
But I’d also rather have one BIG fight once in a while than a little bit of bickering every day.
I also prefer to spend one day doing an entire project, start to finish, over doing a little of a project daily over time.
You catch my drift.
And so while I worked out, I started to wonder: Am I a power athlete because of my body or am I a power athlete because of my mind? Am I built for power in the gym, or do I participate more willingly in power athletics because I favor power in every context? Do I choose power because I’m good at it or because I don’t want to endure?
And I felt my heart start to open.
I’ve been working on endurance at the gym. If I break up a set of reps, I make myself start the next reps a few seconds before I really want to. And I do a rep or two more after I already feel ready to rest.
But have I been working on endurance outside the gym?
Maybe that’s in St. Josemaria Escriva’s heroic minute—getting up when the alarm rings instead of hitting the snooze just because the “power” part of me can get ready fast. Maybe it’s in taking the call from a friend instead of letting it go to voicemail because the power part of me knows I’ll be done faster with whatever I’m doing if I do it without interruption.
I don’t know, exactly. But after this morning, I do know this:
I may prefer power. I will probably continue to choose it.
But endurance is worthwhile. And maybe God made me capable of choosing that, too.
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