Thursday, February 23, 2017

Take the Hits... and Keep Believing

I want to share a little something you may not know about me... I am really a big fan of the Rocky Balboa movies. There's a little part of me that may inwardly groan when the remote finds the movie on again, but the truth is, I really am a sucker for that character.

 Why? Because something about his story inspires me a little. His determination displayed in the movies gives me a sense of wanting to overcome the odds, just like he does. Cheesy? Perhaps. But I enjoy watching the scenes unfold of his goal setting, training, and fights in the end. I can't say I think all of it is realistic, but nonetheless, I feel like I can relate a little bit to his character.

Recently one of the more current films of his was on, and he gave this amazing inspirational speech to his son. He was "old" and training once again to fight. His son didn't like that because of the effects it brought on to his own life, but Rocky gave his son a speech that I felt a little bit was meant for me. He said that the hits of life will keep coming, but it's about getting back up every time. It's about believing in yourself. It's not about what others try to make you to be... it's about being who you are and standing up for that. (I paraphrase...)

 How can a fictional movie sometimes seem to be sharing words that are spoken to me?

 I have to admit that this winter has been a challenge when it has come to my fitness. I fought an infection for a month. On top of that, I got an ear infection. I had some shin splints- minor, but enough to irritate me. And now that I am back up and going strong, I will be down for another weekend getting my wisdom teeth out. I don't say all of that to complain... I share all of that because I want to share a real struggle.

 It is hard for me to not compare myself to others around me much of the time. Now, I have come a very long way in this department. However, when my fitness is taking a back seat, those ugly comparisons seem to crawl in to the dark corners I thought had been cleared of the cobwebs. The super skinny mom in my TRX class. The runner twice my age running twice my speed. The mom who has it all together seemingly. I can keep going really, but there is no need for that. Why?

Because those things/people don't matter. I don't mean they don't matter in life, but I mean that as a comparison, it is irrelevant. I don't know their story, they don't know mine. And this is how I am made. I just have to believe. I have to dig a little deeper at times. I have to take a hit and get up and keep going. Because the truth is, that is me. I am a fighter. I believe that's probably one reason I love the Rocky movies so much. Because while I don't get inside a boxing ring, life can be a boxing ring. And I get up every day and throw my own punches. Quietly. Not rudely. But even just for my own self.

 I punch away those ugly comparisons that are so unnecessary. (What would we all be like if we just stopped comparing ourselves to others?) I fight against those thoughts that want to knock me down. I hit the opponent (metaphorically) who wants to tell me I'm not good enough. And I get up and I believe. And every time I am a little stronger for it. Not for my own sake, but for His.

 This is a spiritual growth time as much as anything else. Because while I may not always be the best one out there, I am learning every day to be the best me that I can. I am learning to be who God has made me to be. I am learning to grow more in His words instead of the world's comparisons. And when my vision is on Him and the path He gives me, I can take a hit, get up and keep believing.

 It's not about a number on the scale, the size of my clothes, the speed of my run, the definition of my muscles or any of those physical aspects we as a society tend to place so much value on every day. It's about the heart. It's about serving others. It's about faith. It's about letting go of fears. It's about believing.

 Really, I'm telling you a little bit of my journey. Not to make it about me, but hopefully so you can see a little glimpse of Jesus through my story. I do struggle with the comparisons like so many others. But that is not what God says about me. And what He says is truth. Don't let others form your thoughts of who you are for you.  Take a hit if you have to. But get up and keep swinging and believe in yourself. I'm learning to.
 It's part of why I am who I am.

 In case you've never seen it, here is the clip from the movie that I was inspired by this week.

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