I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my thighs most of my life. Love, because they’ve always been strong. They served me well during my formative gymnastics/acrobatics years. Hate, because they’ve always been larger than the average person’s. You could spot me in a dance recital, even though the outfit matched the ones worn by all of the other cute little dancers. How?
“Oh, right. She’s the one on the left with the big thighs.”
Now, here I am–53 years old, trying to get in shape, and still having a daily conversation with my thighs. If you’ve been following my weight-loss journey, you know that I’m diligent about exercise, particularly biking. Every morning at the crack of dawn (or the “crack of stupid” as some here in the south are prone to call it) I get on my bike. The same thing happens every single morning, at about the 1/4 point in my ride. . .
My thighs begin to cry.
I can hear them. They speak to me with tears lacing their words: “What did we ever do to you? Did we not support you during your formative years? Did we not stick with you when you put on weight? Did we not sit on the sofa with a laptop on top of us for countless hours while you typed, typed, typed that last book? Why then should we suffer?”
On and on the conversation goes. The thighs have their say. I argue back: “But this is good for us! Look how much smaller you’re getting! Don’t you want to be smaller? And think toning, guys! You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood if we keep this up. . .and I don’t mean that in a bad way!”
At this point, my mind gets involved and sides with my thighs: “You look like a goober, riding through the neighborhood on this bike every morning. Do you see that man over there watering his lawn? He’s looking at you like you’ve got two heads.”
I argue back, now speaking to my thighs once again: “Yes, but that man over there will be whistling at us in just a few months if we keep this up.”
My thighs cease their argument. They seem to like that idea.
The sun peeks through the clouds. Janice rides on!
At this point I realize I’m at the halfway point in my ride. The sun is out. My spirits are lifted. The wind is at my back and I’m buzzing along, my thoughts now shifting to the blissful day ahead. On and on I go, all hurdles lifted.
Until I reach the 2/3 point. I round a familiar corner and the wind “strong enough to knock a buzzard off a death wagon” (as my ex-husband was prone to say) hits me in the face. At once, my thighs revolt. “No! We were doing so well!”
They refuse to play along and, in Hitler-esque fashion, I force them to march: “1-2-3-4! Don’t stop! Don’t stop! This is just a hurdle! You’ve faced hurdles before!”
“Yes, but we would rather be sitting on the sofa with a laptop on top of us!” they argue back.
“Soon,” I counter. “Soon we will be home. You can rest.” (I’m lying to them, of course. When we get home, I’ll crank up the WiiFit for round two. But they don’t need to know that. Yet.)
We round another corner and the wind slows. My street comes into view. My thighs breath a visible sigh of relief. (I would show you a photograph of this, but it might alarm you.) By the time we arrive at the house, all angst between us is lifted and we’re friends once again. I climb off of my bike, glance down at my (shrinking) thighs and smile. We are, after all, on the same team. I offer them a congratulatory cheer and we head into the house, where I coax them into working out once more.
As I ponder the situation with my thighs, I’m reminded of the hurdles I faced as a young woman, (say, in my 20s and 30s). They seemed huge at the time (like the hurdle at the 1/4 point in my daily morning bike ride). So many times I wanted to stop. The argument between mind and heart took a toll on me. But I jumped those hurdles. I kept riding. And though the arguments/hurdles continued, I kept riding. SO much of what I faced needed to be conquered in the mind, (not the proverbial “thighs” as it were).
What about you? Are you still riding, or have you tossed your bike (metaphorically speaking) into a far corner of the garage? No matter what hurdles you face, no matter how tough the challenge, the only way you will ever overcome it is to get back up on that bike and ride. Yes, your “thighs” will argue with you. No, they will not win. Not if you press your way through!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Press on! And may your thighs be with you!