Tired and sore

Chalene Johnson is CEO of Powder Blue Productions and Fitness Professional. (http://turbokick.com and Powder Blue Productions)

Chalene Johnson is CEO of Powder Blue Productions and Fitness Professional. (http://turbokick.com and Powder Blue Productions) 

As a fitness professional, many people assume that I can do just about anything that requires physical effort. So, if I ask someone to do push ups, and I do it with them, they assume I can hang on because “I do this all the time.” But that’s not always true.

I’m not the fastest runner and I’m sure there are people who can do tons more push-ups than I can, but I don’t concentrate on that. When I get down and do the work with you, to tell you and show you that it can be done, it’s because I want you to succeed. I want you to see in yourself what I see in you.

The downside of being a fitness professional is, because working out is my job, there are days when I am just too tired and sore to want to go on. That day I want to rest. What could it hurt to take a day off? I already know the answer to that. One day turns into another, and then another, and then another. My mind says to keep going but my body says to sleep more!

I know you all can relate. And it’s for that reason many of us never achieve the fitness goals we set out to conquer. We are tired and sore.

We get that way with our prayer lives at times. We set a goal to say the rosary every day and when life gets in the way one day, we might find it hard to get back to the rosary the next day. And before we know it, we’ve been without the rosary or regular prayer for days. We feel guilty, but sometimes that isn’t enough motivation to get back to our original goal. Does that make us a bad person? No. Just human.

Sticking with your fitness routine is just like sticking with your prayer routine: it’s about habit. Experts say it takes 21 days to solidify a new habit, but what I have found is, no matter what day you are into this, it’s going to be a mental challenge for you.

You must identify that mental block and be determined to overcome it. You know that regular prayer is good for you, just as regular exercise is. Just like my first military Catholic Chaplain said in 1997, “Faith is like a muscle. You have to exercise it to make it stronger.” The words came through in a thick Boston accent, but I got the point.

I can always give you tips to overcome the physical affects of a new fitness routine – the fatigue and the soreness. But what can I tell you about the spiritual side? It’s actually pretty simple. I have to go with Nike on this and tell you to just do it. I don’t care if it’s been two days, two weeks, or two decades. Take some time and talk to God. Not sure what to say? You can always pray the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. It doesn’t have to be complicated; I just want you to know that you can do it. And the more you pray, the easier it gets and your habit is formed.

As for me, and my sore muscles, I’ll be drinking plenty of water and sticking to my workout schedule. After all, I owe it to myself to persevere. You owe it to yourself to do the same with your spiritual and physical well-being.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.