How do you feel loss in your life; a broken bone that sidelined you from running, a neurological condition that has no known cure, a busted relationship that has no guaranteed outcome or a betrayal that leaves its teeth sunk deep within your soul.
Athlete or not, loss can be our path to increased fitness. REALLY?
Fitness wise, we are only as strong as our weakest link. To gain increased strength, we must hold back our strong muscles from overuse, so the weaker ones get to develop. Easier said then done.
Life circumstances can help us with this.
When tragic circumstances strike, whether suddenly as with a stroke or slowly as in tendonitis, loss is what we experience. The loss of something we thought we needed, something we relied on like our bodies, our loved ones or our perceived sources of sustenance.
I was pondering this just yesterday in light of this Passover and Easter season, as I was doing one of my “healing workouts” to build up the muscles supporting my torn ligaments. It had been months and I was still making slow progress, YET what hit me was how much I had developed power and stability in the absence of my left foot. That became my goal. I could see the change developing in my ‘underdeveloped’ areas like the improved alignment of my knee, increased range of motion, and rock solid hip stability.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been working on strength and conditioning the underdeveloped areas of my body for eons as that’s what trainers do, but I hadn’t had the incentive to work so hard UNTIL I lost what had been previously working so well.
The loss of my left foot meant the gain in my weaker deeper areas. Who wants to awkwardly manipulate a foot with traction and range of motion when they could be out enjoying an intoxicating run? We tend to do what we are good at, reuse what we have already strengthened. Yet, it’s in the absence of what we gravitate to, that we GAIN the opportunity to grow, in strength of body as much as mind and soul.
In John 16:7 Jesus takes this a lot deeper as he says, “…I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you…” referring to his death, and speaking to those that do not want to lose the one they love.
Sometimes losing is the path to gaining what could never have been attained without that loss.