I almost fell off the Treadmill!

ttttttI’ve seen it happen before my eyes: Someone falling off a treadmill. Some people might consider it quite entertaining, but not so much for the person involved. It can be downright scary, painful and very humiliating. I came close…

Now I can already hear some of you commenting that it serves me right for not walking out in nature, playing a decent sport, or doing a step class. However, in my defense, since I’ve become a “treadmill girl” I have actually been much more consistent at exercise. I found that I can endure a lot of pain (muscle pain that is) if I am distracted. So I’ve made this my time to read some fun stuff. No educational or heavy stuff, but rather magazines and light reading. It keeps my mind busy and off the pain and more importantly off the self pity that usually accompanies it:)

Now I know walking on a treadmill at 6am in the morning sounds downright boring and dreadful, but let me tell you, the “treadmill community” has it perks. Some people are quite entertaining. There’s this one guy that has to be a Christian, because he goes into his own world at the gym. I kid thee not, eyes closed and pretty demonstrative with arms waving and everything.

Now to get back to me and the treadmill. I have seen people lose their footing due to ipods, water bottles and towels. If you drop one of those you hardly have time to pull the cord and make the thing stop. Once that object hits the belt and comes under your feet, you’re going down baby! The best part is the people’s reactions afterward. I’m sure in some cases it can be serious, but fortunately I’ve never witnessed a 911 situation. Most of the people I saw would immediately jump back up and carry on running like nothing ever happened! What’s that all about? A few others would grab their stuff, head for the closest exit and not show up for a few days.  As for the spectators, we would snicker in silence but avoid eye contact with the victim at all cost.

So after witnessing all this I was not going to be caught off guard. I have a plan to always place my stuff where they can not fall down, and I don’t listen to an ipod (due to sensitive ears not age okay). One thing I didn’t consider, and I’m here to warn you all about; the little pieces of paper they stuff magazines with to encourage you to buy a subscription. One of those came tumbling out of my brand new magazine, and floated in midair for a minute while my heart skipped a beat, and then it landed, smack in the middle of my “runway” . I stumbled, I frantically grabbed the handle bars, lifting myself up to hang in the air like a regular acrobat, and then I realized that I had no free hand to pull the “stop-cord”. Panic made me twist my body in a way that I will never be able to copy and I got a hold of that little dangling rope with my one knee. The treadmill came to a halt not a second too soon, because my shaky legs was already back on the belt and moving backwards FAST.

Of course I wanted to be the one who laughed at myself and broke the awkwardness. But I just grabbed my things and walked as fast and dignified as I possible toward the exit. No one laughed, and no one made eye contact, but I’m sure I saw a few smiles out of the corner of my eye.

I’m glad to report that I only went in hiding for three days, and I now scan a magazine from cover to back before it becomes my exercise buddy.

On a more serious note:
God has an exercise for you. Find it girl! If you can exercise consistently many of the things surrounding your food addiction will become easier and start falling into place. Also, it might be a good way to incorporate worship and prayer into your life. I have had some good prayer sessions on the treadmill, or just walking outside. See it as an hour that you give to yourself every day, and make it count. Prayer is one of those things that we can do anywhere, and what better time than when you’re exercising. I need to sometimes do some warfare prayer to not quit exercising, and it has never failed to work!

Remember: The enemy wants to keep us from the things that can bring freedom to our lives. PRAYER and EXERCISE  are two of those things. Why not give him a double whammy by combining these two.

Too difficult? Ask God to help you do it. I still daily ask Him to help me resist all of the negative thoughts in my mind when it’s time to exercise.

Something interesting: Just this week I was reading a book about a 50 year old women who is a famous runner, and she says that it’s a well known fact in the world of running that the most difficult part of running is to get your shoes on and get out the door. So even the super fit people have to knock down the resistance every day. This made me feel a little better, but tomorrow morning I know I will have to cry out to God again to help me get out of bed and lace up those running shoes so that my day can be balanced and I can stay FREE!

Love
Heleen

Let me know if you have a testimony on exercise and please click here to read a testimony  by a friend from Kazakhstan

The Case of the Missing Adventure Gene!


I read about this lady who claims to have no “adventure gene” and I laughed so loud! Oh my goodness, she was talking about me! I’ve tucked this little secret away, hidden from the eyes of my friends who are adrenaline junkies and nature lovers, but I think it’s time for me to come clean on this one…

I really wished that I liked all the adventurous things in life, but seriously, I don’t! Not that I didn’t try. When the pressure is on and you have to impress one will act like you are a regular dare devil, but seriously though, I’m not!

So I’ve gone snowboarding! Ugh! I tried windsurfing! Oh boy! I even ventured out on a motorcycle (as a passenger of course) and cruised the mountain passes at 200km/h (not miles!) Let’s just say that I was young, in love, and seriously desperate to impress. There were the times when I stayed at the beach for a whole day, almost killed myself on a surf board, burnt my very pale skin to a crisp and suffered for many, many moons. Yeah, you know it, I did not like it! I even went on big, scary roller coasters and pretended to have fun, but where, I beg you, is the fun in almost having a heart attack!

Did I mention that I’ve tried camping, with the mosquito bites, the dirt everywhere, the scary sounds, the zero bathrooms and the lack of sleep. No offense to all you campers out there, but it’s a nightmare!

People have been trying to convince me of the existence of this “adventure gene” in me since I was a kid. I remember vacations in the Kalahari dessert, going up and down sand dunes in a jeep without any regard for my motions sickness! I wouldn’t even talk about the hunting, I’m still trying to forget. Did I mention horse back riding? I don’t know who was the most terrified, me or the horse. I even rode calves when I was younger! What was that all about!?

Don’t think for a second that I have a chip on my shoulder. To tell you the truth, I admire all the adventurous people out there. This explains the lost years of trying to forge this non-existent gene. I so desperately wanted to be adventurous, but seriously, I’m so not.

I think I may finally, as the big 40 is creeping closer, be ready to give up, smile, and enjoy the slow ride. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I love to mingle with them in a more natural habitat, like the mall! It’s not that I’m not fond of animals, but they are so peaceful in the zoo. It’ not that I dislike water and sand, but I prefer to enjoy it from a distance, in a sandbox or a swimming pool. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the ocean, but I would rather walk on the beach, pick up shells, or just sit on a rock and meditate on life, while the sun is not so very bright. I seriously believe camping can be fun, but in my backyard, with the toilet and the microwave close by.

People are still talking to me about bungy jumping, rock climbing and river rafting. These days I say “wow!” and block their emails. I’m just kidding, I’m not that brave yet, but I do decline politely, mumbling something about “too old” and “weak knees”.

High Tea at the Heathman!

capture28A few weeks ago I was invited to some serious girl time: A tea party!
Not the kind I have with my little girl in the back yard, nor the kind I try my best to “recreate” when I have a few ladies over. No, I’m talking about the real thing: High Tea at the the Heathman!

Now before you suspect that I am a privileged lady who spend countless afternoons with fine china and little crumpets, let me tell it as it is: I have never been to the Heathman or any other “high” tea for that matter. Sure we’ve had tea parties in my home country in lovely tea gardens, and my grandma and I used to go to a tea shop for tea and scones. However, having high tea at a prestigious hotel was some mysterious experience I’ve only heard of.

The fun started as soon as a dear friend extended a generous invitation to me. I accepted eagerly, but the minute I put the phone down my roller coaster ride began. One day I would be all excited and the next day I would wonder what in the world I was going to wear, if my purse that survived four children would do, and if the nail polish that’s been sitting in my closet for two years was still any good.

So a few days ago the big day came and I end up wearing my trusted black pants and a blouse with a hint of the “girly-girl” hidden deep inside me. I actually went out and bought myself a new purse: I still miss my old one, I can not find my keys or cell phone for the life of me! As for the homemade manicure, yeah, that never happened.

Great was my relief to find my friends just the way they were a week ago. Granted, we all dressed up a little, but for the most part they were just the girls I love.

When the moment arrived we were seated in cushy chairs at a picture perfect table, surrounded by breath taking architecture and interior design. I felt nervous, this was it, the moment of truth: Do I have enough “lady” in me to pull this off? To my relief things started unraveling fast: We didn’t realize we were suppose to wait for the waiter to pour our tea, I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t find the little thingy where you’re suppose to put the other thingy, and we laughed…

All pretentiousness lost, we relaxed. We discussed the scrumptious delicacies while poking at it with tiny forks, and we drank tea from small cups with elevated pinkies (okay not so much the pinkies). In the end we were all just girls talking and laughing; different ages, different cultures, different personalities, but the same. We shared an amazing high tea, but I was more aware of the fact that we shared similar fears, insecurities, loves, heart aches and passions.

On the way home we had a moment where all masks dropped to the ground and I felt myself blurt out one of my deepest fears. So am I proud of myself for being so open and honest? Off course not! Today I wonder what they must think of me, but I smile when I suspect they worry about the same thing.

Us girl folk are really much more alike than we realize, especially those of us who love God. Yes, we bug each other and we get on each others’ nerves. We perceive some of our friends to be too open and we accuse others of not being real. We envy our skinny friends and feel just a little bit of pride that we don’t look like others, but in the end we stop… and we see only the hearts… and it’s beautiful. If you know a woman who loves God, you can just wait it out, it’s just a matter of time before her heart will show, and it will look very similar to the heart you carry, the heart of Jesus…

Goodness knows, I need more girl time! The evening after the tea party I went looking for a facial mask that I’ve had for months. To the surprise of my family, I locked myself in the bathroom and had some long overdue me-time. I realized again how other women bring us in touch with the girly side of us that God made so special.

We get lost in the swamp of careers, husbands, children, ministry, laundry and dishes. That’s why we sometimes need the manicured hand of a girl friend, with a beautiful heart, to pull us out and remind us: You are an amazing and unique daughter of the King…