Exercise is not my thing. Food – food is my thing.
Thus, exercise is a necessary part of my life. I often joke that I was not born with the gene that makes you enjoy exercise or that I am sorely lacking in endorphin production because exercise does not make me happy.
I work with a trainer once a week as a part of my exercise regimen because let’s face it; I do not have the will power to make myself do the things he makes me do.
So ironically, I have Will, trainer extraordinaire.
Without fail, as I fatigue, my form suffers and on those days I really struggle physically, I also struggle mentally. One reminder I often hear to help me correct my form is “eyes up, head up, chin up”.
While recovering from a particularly difficult workout recently during which these words were again declared, it occurred to me how poignant this mantra is for me psychologically and spiritually.
When I encounter a difficult situation, I tend to close my eyes as if that will help me avoid dealing with it. With strenuous exercise, this results in dizziness. With life, the result is increased stress and anxiety as the situation festers. This part of the mantra reminds me to not look down on myself but to keep my eyes on God – the source of my strength and happiness.
Head up/Chin up.
While this is meant to remind me to keep my form when lifting, it can also serve as encouragement that I can, in fact, do it. I all too often allow negative self-talk to rule my thoughts. Instead of dwelling on the difficulty of the situation, I am reminded to keep my head up and work through the struggle, through the suffering. I need to keep my head up and be aware of my strengths and blessings. I need to keep my chin up and be proud of the “me” that God created knowing that He created me in His image.
This change of focus helps me walk out of the gym having had a better workout and a better attitude. So whether you are deadlifting or struggling with that negative inner voice, remember: Eyes up. Head up. Chin up.