Endurance

Today was my second session of Physical Therapy. I go six weeks, twice a week. The goal: to help bring function back to my left leg by strengthening the muscles that have weakened from the blood clot, and to help stabilize my balance as best possible. Overall, PT repeats, “To build your endurance.” Tuesday was my first session. The whole time was used to see my body condition in the physical sense–things I can do well and things that I need help with during the sessions. It was mostly stretching and holding the pose for thirty seconds sort of exercises, but by the end of my 45 minute session, I felt like I had just completed a marathon! I came home and slept for four hours!! Today’s session, we went into the actual stretching exercises that they want me to start at home. It was more physically challenging…required more endurance.

My PT set me up on a step machine (not sure of the actual name, sort of like a stationary bike in which you are “stepping” but sitting down). As I was finishing my six minutes on the machine, I noticed a poster on the wall over to my right. It read, “A walk of a thousand miles begins with a step.” I thought that was a great saying to put in a PT gym. Here people come to regain what they have lost…sometimes even just their first step. The greater picture is that enduring the hard work, results will follow–even if it seems miles away. I remember running cross-country in high school. I was not very fast–I do not have a long stride–but every training made me stronger, not just physical but the mental endurance. We would train a few days a week on different terrains: grass at the park, running the cement streets, and our not so favorite–hills and every so often, a mountain. Yes, you read that right–MOUNTAIN!!! Talk about endurance! I am not a competitive person, therefore, I did not like the races, but during the races is when I felt like my training and building up my endurance had paid off! I never stopped, even in pain, and whether or not I came in last–which most often I would–the most important thing above all else is that I finished and I did not give up! That is what I call endurance.

This summer is the Olympics in London!!! YAY!!!!! More to come regarding that but the whole aspect of training and endurance reminds me of when we saw THE Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. What a sight to see!

There it is! Where the Olympics first began, well actually the first were held in Olympia (hence the name). Very fascinating history about the origin: http://www.greecetravel.com/olympia/.  The point–they have been around for a LONG TIME! Imagine those first games! 😀 All the strength and endurance, for what? Honor and a sacred olive branch (or wreath).  Enduring for honor! I remember my professor telling us that if a contestant did not win the olive branch, they did not return home…the honor was lost. Can you imagine how intense that would be?

The time we spent at the Olympics arena in Athens. I was reminded of what Paul says in I Corinthians 9:24-27,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

And again he writes,

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14).

There are times when running the race is hard!!! And unlike cross-country races, sometimes I give up because I cannot see past the wall in front of me. But in everything there is hope: Every step towards the next thousand miles, I can go with confidence because, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.


Here are some other websites about the ancient Olympics:

http://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_wreath *I like the story in this one. 🙂

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