I’ve watched people walk by my window for a number of years and thought, “I want to be a person that walks on a regular basis.” There were times in my past, more often than not, that I was that person, but for quite a number of years now, that hasn’t been me.
It’s not that I haven’t walked at all. I have had my share of times when I’ve walked around the neighborhood or gone to “hike” in the arboretum down the street. I just haven’t been consistent.
Last year, my bloodwork showed that my bad cholesterol had gotten higher than my good cholesterol (though my overall cholesterol was still “normal”). I took some action with my diet and added in an Omega 3 supplement that I thought would help. After a few months, my bloodwork showed very little change. I told my doctor I didn’t understand, and she said that consistent exercise is really the best way to keep cholesterol in check.
Well, 5 months later, in October, after I turned 54, I decided to commit to following this walking app I had found. I told myself I would follow it for 12 weeks. Technically, that 12 weeks should almost be up, but I’m still working the plan. There were days when I had so much other physical activity from yard work, or walking all day Christmas shopping, that I figured I could skip using the app. Then, there were days that were too busy with holidays, family gatherings, travel, weather, etc. However, I haven’t given up.
After the first 6 weeks, it was time again for bloodwork, and to my satisfaction, my cholesterol had decreased overall as well as specifically bringing down my bad cholesterol. It’s working and that was just the motivation I needed to keep going with following the walking app. I won’t stop until I complete the 12 weeks on the app….and then , I still won’t stop.
I’m becoming that walking person that I desired to be and I don’t ever want to go back to being a person who just watches the walking people go by. Walking is once again becoming second nature to me. I desire it, and this is such a positive thing for me!
The fact is, this is how we develop and grow into people of virtue. We choose behaviors, consistently, day after day, following disciplines, that turn into habits, and the more we repeat them, the more they become a part of who we are. There are things that come more natural to us that we picked up as children that seem like they’ve always been a part of who we are; loving to learn has been that way for me. Yet, other good behaviors haven’t come so naturally to me, and those require more concentrated effort, choices to be disciplined, to develop habits that will eventually become second nature.
Four and a half years ago, God opened the way for us to move to this neighborhood and into our home, both of which have felt like places with more space to breathe, to be and to become. Now that I’ve allowed the influences and inspiration around me to lead me to become a walking person, that victory is pushing me forward to work on some other habits that have needed my attention, other behaviors I want to change or new ones to develop. I’m so thankful to have more emotional and mental space in my life now so that I can think through choices that lead me to disciplines that will overcome some bad habits, developing new ones that will become second nature, in time.
I’m thanking God for his answers to my prayers, for his ways of working things for my good, for his provisions and his care. “When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Ps. 118:5-6)