My cousin regularly Facebooked her count-up to thirty days of exercising. Like others in her audience, I read of her progress and how great she felt working out at home with her exercise DVD. Her posts inspired me to fit working out into my schedule, not only for health benefits, but also to fit into my clothes. I ordered the same twenty-minute workout DVD and thought I’d join in the fun. But over the holidays at a family gathering I complained, “That DVD just isn’t working for me,” and then added, “of course it would help if I cracked the cellophane!”
My family laughed, but it stimulated discussion. Though separated by many miles we thought, “why not try exercising together wherever we live and form a private Facebook group to cheer one another on?
We began in January and the results have been positive and positively hilarious. Each day we exercise we post our count UP, anticipating a reward at when we reach 30 workouts. We share whatever form of exercise we attempted for the day. After we started we realized we also wanted to add a verse of the week. Being out of shape at memorizing and exercising has prompted us to encourage one another to grow spiritually and shrink physically. In the process we’re staying in touch and in shape at the same time.
And an added perk? We catch up on the humorous workout accounts of sore muscles, incentive rewards, and how the kids all joined in or the dog gave so much moral support during sit-ups that he had to be banished to the couch. After my sister-in-law’s first workout she wrote, generously rewarding herself, “Haven’t picked my treat yet….1 week in Hawaii.”
Many days we confess our need for each other: “Day 4 – Glad you guys are with me or I would have definitely skipped it!”
Sometimes we share tips: “I wrote my verse on three pieces of paper and will put one on my computer, one by the kitchen sink to look at while doing the dishes, and one on my bathroom mirror. It’s Exodus 15:2: The Lord is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him, my father’s God and I will exalt Him.
And our initiator/coach? She’s now completed three months of exercise. On her 90th day she wrote: “I DID NOT want to get up when the 6:15 alarm beeped. But then I remembered…it’s day 30! So I did it! Hooray. Sweater shopping this weekend : ) and I will post a picture…sweater, skirt, and boots – my three prizes. Praise the Lord for helping me through 90 workouts since I started!”
If it’s tricky for you to add hours to your day, to change into sweats, drive to a gym, drive home, and shower, this can be a fun alternative. If you can squeeze in a walk or an exercise DVD or you have equipment in your basement, maybe you can join a virtual club of friends who encourage one another to stay physically and spiritually healthy in 2011. Let’s get started, ladies!
Do you have a plan to get healthy this year both physically and spiritually?
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About Ann Stewart
Ann just won the Christy Award for Best Debut Novel of 2017 with Stars in the Grass, originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, and writes “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register. When she's not writing, she's waving her arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball, This is Us, or Madam Secretary. In her free time she hangs out with her husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia--where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.
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