I’m beginning to understand why my mother never wore sleeveless shirts in public. Mom Arms.
As a writer, I do more heavy sitting than heavy lifting and my biceps and triceps have atrophied, though not the skin around them.
I know exercise is important for a balanced life, but I detest going to the gym. I just can’t bring myself to drive 17 miles to town so I can work up a sweat in a former Safeway supermarket with people I don’t know slinging dead weight around.
So I walk. Most mornings before sunrise, I tramp out a two-mile hike down our country road and back again. But that doesn’t help my arms.
My Son The Personal Trainer put together a home-front workout regimen for me. I don’t have to attach fancy weights to my lifting. A gallon milk jug full of water or a loaded laundry basket will do just fine, he said.
“Resistance is what you want.”
No, resistance is not what I want, but he persisted with several examples.
He demonstrated with a long rubber jump rope I bought years ago from Avon. Standing in the middle of the giant rubber band, a handle in each hand, he effortlessly stretched his arms above his head.
“Keep your elbows close to your head, and push slowly upward,” he said.
I‘m good at slowly. I barely moved, so he showed me how to reduce the resistance for now and how to increase it later as my strength grows.
I don’t like this resistance-pressure thing, but I know what little strength I have left will fade even more if I don’t work at it. God knows it too, and He uses the human body as a great object lesson for the human spirit.
“You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors,” says The Message. “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4)
Well-developed. That’s how I want my arms—and my spirit—to look, but it’s going to take a regular workout.
God’s on top of that, too. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” (Phil. 2:12 NKJ).
A Bible teacher once explained that this verse isn’t talking about salvation by works; it’s talking about working out—exercising, using those faith muscles.
I’d love for life to be easier, but then I’d look like a jellyfish—spiritually and physically.
Looks like my response to life’s pressures should be the lifting of my hands in praise.
With a resistance-band handle in each one.
Author of Always Before Me