Last spring I bought a Groupon for 12 sessions at a CrossFit gym in Dallas. My inspiration was a friend who had dropped more than 100 pounds in 6 months while doing CrossFit workouts three times a week.
If you’re not familiar with CrossFit, it combines elements of rowing, Olympic powerlifting, gymnastics and stretching. And also death. It is not for the faint of heart.
I attended an introductory session called “Elements” to learn some of the basic movements of the workouts. It’s supposed to be an easier version of the full-blown CrossFit training.
About halfway through that hour-long class, as I was sucking wind and grimacing in pain, memories from high school weight training came flooding back. I knew what was coming – the way my muscles were burning. I knew what it meant.
I was going to have trouble walking for a while.
Oh, and I definitely had to run to the bathroom after the workout and puke.
That’s the way it is when you get back into weight training. If you get into it too quickly, and your muscles aren’t used to tearing so much, the lactic acid builds up, and the soreness can be excruciating.
Sure enough, in the days that followed, my body hurt. It hurt to walk on flat ground. It hurt to walk up stairs. It hurt to sit down. It hurt to stand up. It hurt to laugh. It hurt to get in the car. It hurt when someone looked at me.
It’s crazy, isn’t it? Something that’s supposed to be so good for you can hurt so bad!
And, as I think happens more than in just my experience, I didn’t go back. I certainly didn’t feel ready to go back 2 days later. And then a week passed. And then a month.
The initial pain of growth was too great to continue.
I think there’s some truth in this story that can be applied to spiritual training as well.