Are You Coming or Going?

entrance or exit

Running late again? In the midst of a crowd, our paths crossed this morning. I was leaving the grocery store while you had just arrived. Yes, I noticed you squeezing your way in through the wall of humanity departing after their shopping excursion.  I’m sure if the crafty dance step I witnessed you perform were to continue, you would not be banned from the store for life nor charged with a felony misdemeanor. You won’t even be branded as an illegal shopper. I often wonder what might be racing through the minds of those who make a similar type daring dash through the wrong door.  How good can that possibly make you feel to regularly enter inappropriately? If you take an apparent short-cut by choosing the wrong door, it doesn’t hasten the work of shopping. Certainly, your exit, I mean entrance, doesn’t help to shrink your grocery list. Does it change the experience of pushing a cart around a series of packed aisles for 30 minutes? Does your decision alter the way you think about this necessary chore? Well, I’m sure you are not about to change this particular, peculiar habit. Since you are apparently enamored with this backward philosophy, how about you consider re-entering my “funtastic” world of exercise.

It has been a while since you’ve visited me for a good old-fashioned workout. That’s okay because I’m going to share a brief story of another of my students who similarly struggled with faithfully keeping his commitments. Upon his return, he would always profusely apologize for his behavior. He knew that I would never chastise him for his inconsistency. He had a ritual of sorts. He’d confess the error of his ways. He would verbally punish himself. Then, frequently, he’d say something thought-provoking, even profound. For example, one time after showing up following a two-week absence he said this: “If I could only come in through the exit, I’d never miss a training session.” He was speaking directly to the undeniable truths about exercise. That which he felt after completing our routine was always so wonderful that he wished he could keep it with him all of the time. If he could just find a way to hold on to that magical feeling derived from exercise, he swore an oath that he’d never again use any excuse to pass on a workout. To enter with that physical sensation and mental satisfaction of a job completed and well done was what he sought.  I’d like to attempt to make some sense of your deliberate act of confusing the role of the doors.

You need not arrive sweating profusely from every pore. Every muscle in your body needn’t be totally spent of energy. You don’t have to do your best “big bad wolf” imitation complete with the intense huffing and puffing. No, please don’t blow the door down. No matter what your day has been like, please, just enter. Enter with as positive an attitude as you can bring. Enter with a proper spirit. Enter with hope. Enter with trust. It is important that you understand this concept. You must diligently and appropriately seek after that attitude, that spirit, that hope, and that trust which will work a mighty change within you. Oh, it may not happen immediately. If it did, would anyone cease to be active? No, the glorious manifestation which you seek to make all things right, to make the hard things easy, and to usher in a time of unprecedented bliss is not at hand. Yet, this feeling whose companionship you dearly desire will surely come. “Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” As you sincerely apply the hope that is in your heart, the attitude in your mind, the spirit of truth and peace which encircles your whole being, and the trust you’ve come to strongly believe, that “after-glow” from your training session will last for more than just a fleeting moment. You may not ever be numbered among those who love working out, but you will share the same feeling that they carry with them from day to day.

So, are you coming or going? Whatever the case may be, there is good news. There is always a way out. A passageway which leads to a newer, more motivated you does exist. The entrance to a more wonderful existence does, in fact, require you to use the exit known as death. In this case, it’s the death of your old way of living. There is always a way in. You are welcome here no matter what your circumstances. Together we can figure out a proper exit strategy. By the way, running late does not qualify as exercise. It’s a stress-inducer. Rest assured, I won’t charge you for being late, although I may make you work harder. Perhaps, it would pay to enter properly and promptly. I know you can do it. But if not, just enter anyways. Better to be late then not come at all.

photo credit: Do Not Enter the Entrance via photopin (license)