Joyful Strength

Another day in paradise, I mean kettlebells.  We did Helga’s playing cards workout.  She removes all the numbered cards lower than 6 as well as the aces.  Each suit – hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades – represents a different exercise.  You do the exercise assigned to that suit, such as push ups, and the number on the card tells you the reps.  Each face card means 20 reps of that activity.  If it’s a one-handed exercise like high pulls, 10 per side.  We go thru the now 33-card deck, with jokers as rests, twice.  It ends up being 40 total of each numbered exercise and 80 of the face card exercises.

She assigns different exercises for each 33-card set.  The first set has a lot of squats and the second has a lot of arm maneuvers. It was jolly until we did the sets reversed. So today, we had jump squats in the first set.  I’m still sore from the complexes on Wednesday.  We made it.  However, I will never be mistaken for a basketball player.

“Our recovery time is getting better.  We might spend a minute resting between groups of cards, but that’s it,” Helga told me.

We’re stronger than we think.  Could be the 80s heavy metal music.  Day 17 of Janathon?  Done.

It leaves me wondering if any of us knows how strong we truly are.  I don’t give too much thought to whether I can finish a kettlebell workout anymore.  I set my mind to do it and I finish.  Now, if I’ve caught a cold or ate too much breakfast, it’s a different story.  I might get queasy or cough up a lung.  Breakfast might threaten an encore appearance, albeit in a new guise.

I’m realizing more and more the importance of our thoughts.  Most of the songs in kettlebells have similar themes.  “You suck”, “I want you – now!” or  a combination of the two, which seems a conundrum.  I’ve teased Helga about it before.

“No Air Supply?  No Madonna?  What about Wham!?  Throw us a bone!”

She just laughs and says we can’t work out to those songs.  The tempo has to be just right so we don’t go too fast or get too relaxed.  Ozzy, Motley Crue and AC/DC must have planned ahead for such a contingency.

I find I listen to the songs but think about other things.  I hear the words and the music but when my energy flags, I remind myself of scripture.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:4

For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. – Psalm 28:7

Not that I burst out into song during class.  Granted, I’m not always heavenly-minded.  Sometimes I can barely form  a coherent thought, I’m breathing so hard.  When I can focus my thoughts, I do better.  My renewed vigor helps me finish strong.  I remind myself of what I have done already.  Our bodies are amazing! These verses become a part of me, which manifest themselves in positive actions and words.  I’m not only training my body, but my mind as well.


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