At my 6-week checkup, my doctor cleared me to start working out again. So I put on my cutest workout clothes (motivation, duh) and headed to the gym for the first time since morning sickness hit.
It. Was. Brutal.
Simply using the elliptical had me winded in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Weights I could easily lift a year ago had my arms shaking almost immediately. And my body hurt in places I didn't even know I had muscles.
There was no one else in the gym, so when I stepped off the treadmill, on the verge of tears after realizing just how far I had to go, I said out loud: It will get better. You just need to practice.
That's the cool thing (and also the sucky thing) about working out: You know that the more you do it, the better you get. I know that if I keep going to the gym, I will eventually be as strong as I was before, or maybe even stronger. I just have to practice.
And that made me think about everything else in my life that I want to be good at. How I want to be a happy person, a generous person, a thankful person. And how there's no shortcut to those things, either. You just have to practice them.
If I want to be a happy person, I have to actually work on it. I have to choose to be happy. If I want to be a thankful person, I have to work on being thankful every day. It doesn't just happen. It takes practice.
I went to the gym yesterday, and it was way easier than it was three weeks ago. It'll be easier next week, too. It's still not the easiest thing, but if I keep practicing, maybe one day it will feel easy again.
Being happy after some jerk cuts me off in traffic and causes me to spill my coffee everywhere isn't the easiest thing, but if I practice it, maybe one day it will be.
What are you practicing lately?