For my husband and my gym friends who inspire me.
Just one more rep. One more repetition before the time is up and the buzzer rings at the gym. Many times I’ll stop a few seconds before the buzzer and skip that extra repetition. That extra rep has more meaning than what I initially thought for God uses the everyday to reveal what is hidden.
Recently, my husband and I were talking about mental toughness. He gave me this to ponder – do one more repetition when you think you can’t and don’t cut the workout short. If you don’t push a little harder, how will you get better or stronger or faster? You won’t. You will plateau. Sure, you can still be fit, but you could be fitter, if you opted to not toss in the towel and you pushed through one more rep.
I often hear about mental toughness in the athletic world; it’s what pulls the athlete through the self-doubt, the possible defeat, the negative talk. At certain levels of competition, what differentiates athletes is mental toughness. It is what brings victory.
As I thought about this, I realized many of my workouts do stop before the last repetition. I am not training for anything nor do I aspire to be a great athlete; I workout to stay healthy. But why do I bail on getting through that last repetition? Then I thought some more…What else do I bail on instead of pushing through one more rep?
Does my spiritual walk reflect my workouts? One of those self-reflection questions that reveals the hidden, the hidden to me, but not to our Father. He is gentle in His revelation, but now I must stop and take a deeper look. Do I have a tendency to bail when things get too hard? Maybe it’s a situation, a difficult relationship, a tenuous circumstance. When the last rep requires digging deeper than I believe I can or want to, do I consider tossing in the towel? Not a habit that will yield better, stronger, fitter in any facet of my life, including a spiritual walk.
Patterns of behavior are mindsets solidified or mindsets are solidified by patterns of behavior. I don’t know which comes first, maybe it depends on circumstances and environments. I’ll leave that to the experts. Regardless, this pattern and mindset of opting out of one more rep needs adjustment. Mental toughness is a mindset and mine needs some exercising.
Since I discovered this aversion to doing one more rep at the gym, I thought I would first try and combat this mindset there, in the hopes that it would overflow to other areas of my life. The only way I knew to do this was to begin a self talk of encouragement.
COME ON…YOU’VE GOT THIS…DON’T LET DEFEAT WIN….
PUSH THROUGH THIS… JUST ONE MORE REP
Positive self talk can take on a life of it’s own. The more I practice, the more the words of encouragement come to mind. And soon these words of encouragement start getting louder. Those close to me hear and together we dig a little deeper, deeper than what we thought we could, and we get through one more rep before the buzzer rings.
Spiritual fortitude, like mental toughness, is built one repetition at a time. Is your prayer life hard, distractions winning? Go for one more rep. Silence too uncomfortable? Thoughts too overwhelming? Try one more rep. Out of patience? Do one more rep and dig into your reserves. You’ll never know how far you can reach if you don’t try just one more rep.
Where might God be asking for one more rep?