I admire fit people.
Not just fit people, but healthy people. Hard working folks. The kind of people who put in a full day’s work building houses, fixing cars, and installing electrical or plumbing. Or soldiers and firemen, who need to keep their bodies in shape so they can do their jobs.
I think I can blame this admiration on my father and grandfather. Both were mechanics by trade, but when they were home, they were farmers. They never stopped moving, never stopped working. Between the two of them, they built the home I grew up in. They chase cows, build fences, bail and haul hay. They could figure out how anything worked and fixed it.
I think if I hadn’t been so afraid of getting hurt growing up, I might have followed in their footsteps. As it was, I distinctly remember being driven to work hard as a teen. Not just so I wouldn’t get fired. But to prove that I could work as hard as any of the grown men around me.
Then I graduated college and I changed. I lost some of my drive. I became more and more lazy, more and more depressed, until I stepped on the scale one day and discovered I’d gained first 40, then 60, pounds since college. To my detriment, I fear.
Since the start of the year, I have lost almost 25 pounds. I’m thirty, but my body doesn’t work like it used to. Pain tags along with me like a naughty puppy, affecting my knees, shoulders and other joints. Scary words like “arthritis” are being thrown around, and I’m not sure who’s to blame for the pain. Was it me, my laziness, or my early drive to keep up with and outshine the hardworking men around me?
Only God knows for sure how much damage I did to myself through my own recklessness and laziness. Only He knows the truth. It may not be my fault. But it also may be.
One thing has not changed about me, though. I still admire fit people. And no matter what the future holds for me, no matter what the doctors say or what more challenges God sends my way, I need to dig out that drive I used to have, dust it off, and apply it to the future.
I may have to adjust my view of the definition of the words, but with God’s help and blessing, I will be healthy and strong again.