Growing Pains

Written By:  Rhonda Sue Page

April, my saint of a fitness trainer, is transitioning me to group classes soon. Don’t freak….I still have her on speed-dial. But the truth is, I’m much stronger than I was 6 months ago. It’s time to grow to the next level. She knows it and I know it. The courage it will take to do this is now more mental than physical.

We were working out this past week and I was struggling. We’d been strength training for awhile but that day had gone back to doing cardio intervals (which I, myself, do not particularly like, thank you very much). She was super proud of this new app on her phone that timed the reps. I wasn’t buying into the excitement. I just wanted them to be over with. I was so focused on how uncomfortable I was and how much I didn’t like them……I was fearful of the pain and frustrated at the work. Strangely, I wasn’t conscious of any of it till April said something to me that has haunted me for the remainder of the week.

“Stop fighting this. It’s going to hurt. Just accept the pain and move through it. I’m right here. You can do this.”

In the moment I couldn’t breathe, and I was angry….but I was also listening. Right there, I determined instead of wishing my way through it, I was going to focus on holding that squat no matter what.
Every muscle in my legs began to violently shake. But I held it.
I felt like I was going to break from the intense burning. But I held it.
It hurt so bad that I didn’t know I even possessed the ability to endure it….until I did…I held it.

When it was over, I collapsed on the floor and gasped for air. But from deep inside me came this intense sense of pride and I was awash with fresh gratitude to April for both understanding what I was capable of and pushing me to reach for it.

It hit me then: the only change I had made in the moment was mental.

FYI – God’s not big on wasting stuff…I can prove it…

See, in a different situation this week (outside of the gym), I had the opportunity to be deeply offended. When all of a sudden, these words pop back into my head:

“Stop fighting this. It’s going to hurt. Just accept the pain and move through it. I’m right here. You can do this.”

In that moment, I couldn’t breathe, and I was very angry.…but I was also listening.

Instantly, I flashed back to the gym. (No, not the moment of desperately gutting it out.) But the moment that came after…when I was proud of myself, left without regret, and so grateful that the person guiding me was both trustworthy and had my best interest at heart.

I remembered, the only change I had to make in that moment was mental.

So I closed my eyes, unclenched my fists and confessed through tears that it hurt…I said that if He were willing to help me, I was willing to let it go. The hardest part at that point was to deliberately NOT dwell on it. Not in those moments, nor the days that followed. Instead, I let myself be proud that I had chosen forgiveness (despite my feelings). I thought about the fact that I didn’t give place nor foothold to the enemy to use against me at some later date. And as the week progressed, I found myself becoming overwhelmingly grateful that God had pushed me to do so because He knew I was capable of it. It wasn’t easy. But no one is ever really proud of “easy”. We are most awed and amazed when we reach past “easy” to that which we were never really sure we were capable of…until we hold it.

My Friend, I want you to know: I understand.

There may be some things happening to you right now that are hurting you. Maybe you find yourself just wishing it’d all pass you by and let you be. Maybe you even feel a bit picked on, pressured and angry about it. Or completely incapable of bearing up under it.

Consider my story.

If any part of it helps you to stop being fearful of the pain or frustrated by the work…….Then it’s been a great week of growth for us both.


Rhonda Sue