Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fatigued Muscles


I am so sore.

I'm walking ok, and actually, walking feels good. But if you see me going up or down stairs, or bending my legs to sit in a chair, I look a little odd. Like a little old lady pausing mid-step, reminding her brain to strain those muscles even though they're crying out in pain.

I started a barre exercise class last spring, kind of a mix of yoga and pilates, and they're not kidding with the tagline, "Know your body. Strengthen, Lengthen."

Ouch.

I took the summer off completely with our crazy, non-routine schedules (I've learned summer does not bode well for exercise OR writing / blogging) and started back to these workouts this week. Yes, I was there the first day of school. And the second. And the third. 

And today my muscles are crying out a bit.

When I first started these 30-min barre workouts, I found that I couldn't do some of the exercises correctly without shaking. After several 8-counts of pulsing up and down on my toes with slightly bent knees, my legs would involuntary quiver. No, not quiver - convulse. And there wasn't much I could do to make them stop, even with the impeccably-toned 19-year-old TCU gal on the mat behind me, a captive audience to my noodle legs. But my embarrassment faded (a bit) when the instructor called out to all of us, "Bend lower, you should be shaking ~ we need those muscles fatigued!"

Because it's in fatiguing the muscles that they are strengthened.

We've been through some seasons recently that have caused my parenting muscles significant fatigue. Many days and weeks over the past year especially I felt shrouded by a "heavy parenting" blanket. A blanket that weighted my days with prayer, communication, strategizing, thinking, listening, reading, researching, and the hardest of all ~ keeping an open hand to see how the Lord might be working in my kiddos' lives and in my own heart (and Corbin's) as well.

My heart feels kind of like my legs during that barre workout - tired, shaking, and fatigued, but all the while building to greater strength. I have great hope that these "heavy" seasons are not all in vain. That in time I'll see strength not just in my parenting skills, but even more so in my wisdom, my love.

Like most people, I'm anticipating this new school year, looking forward to a really great year. We have a lot to be grateful for, and a lot to look forward to. Yet just a few days in, I'm aware that it's going to take lots of hard work, and quite honestly, I'm still a bit sore from previous years. 

The shaking, tired, fatigued muscles are no fun. I love water breaks. And days like today, where I get to skip the workout and enjoy lunch with friends. But I'm reminded that the heavy seasons are all part of the process, one I can truly keep an open hand with.

Hard work and fatigue ~ a sure way to strength. 
Perhaps sore muscles aren't all that bad.