What you're looking at in the picture over there is (1) a Bio-Med Bio-Met Semi-Recumbent Elliptical, in the foreground, and (2) a Monark 881 Rehab Trainer, (actually, several of them) behind. On 36 separate days, since April 22 of this year, I've tried my best to wear them out.
I previously blogged here
about the fact that I was prescribed 36 sessions of Cardiac Rehab Exercises, after having a stent put in April 6th, by my cardiologist. Yesterday was the last of those Medicare-funded (thanks, all you taxpayers) rehab sessions.
In the beginning, I
suffered through endured
enjoyed four 5-minute stints of exercises, mostly on those two machines. Those were gradually increased until, yesterday, I
rejoiced over completing four separate fifteen minute
sets of exercises .. one whole hour
of increased heart rate, blood pressure, and
huffing and puffing
elevated respiration rate.
Actually, the hour's exercise yesterday, completed in about 65 minutes, was a whole lot
easier than the 20 minutes was, some four months ago. And, to boot, I've had to cut my BP medicine in half, to keep my BP from getting too low!
The exercise has been really, really good for me. But, alas, I've fulfilled the prescription.
I will, however, continue the exercises. See, the rehab center makes their facilities available to ex-patients, for $5.00 a visit! They just record when I come in and work out, and at the end of the month, the hospital .. of which they're a part .. will send me a bill for the five bucks per visit. Since one of those machines costs $4,995 and the other costs $2,695, I figure $5 a session is as big a bargain as I'm likely to find these days.
So, while the exercise the doctor prescribed ended about 4 pm yesterday, my exercise isn't stopping. I'm going to be going back twice a week for an hour's session, which, hopefully, will at least maintain the gains I've made in the past 4 months. I've been going there Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but with church suppers at 5pm on Wednesdays, I'll cut back to just the two weekly sessions at the 3 o'clock hour.
Because I want to.
NOW: as I sat there pedaling and pumping on the Bio-Met yesterday, I got to thinking. I started this because I was told to. Because it was expected of me. Because common sense and some highly educated folks told me that it'd benefit me. And that's proven to be the case, in a big way. I mean, reducing BP meds? Hasn't happened to me before!
And all the walking and stuff we did on the Alaska Cruise and the bus tour? I could never
have done half that stuff, had it not been for the cardio I'd been doing on the machines in the picture.
SO: as I was reflecting on church, I got to thinking that too often we're told what we should be burdened about. The lost .. the babies in the nursery .. witnessing .. going on mission trips .. feeding the poor .. etc etc. But the fact is, we cannot pick and choose what to be burdened about!
Assigning "burdens" is solely the prerogative of God! But, the good news is that He'll do it, once we are willing to follow up on whatever task He assigns us.
For me, the deal is obedience. Find out what God wants you to do in the continuation of the work Jesus started a couple thousand years ago. Then dive in, headlong. No safety nets, no holding back. Just jump in.
How to find out what it is? There are more methods for finding your areas of giftedness than I can shake a stick at, and if you don't know how, ask!
Then, when God points you in some direction, hit it!
See .. God enables you to do what He has in mind for you to do, and He will develop what you need as you get to work. You can't gain strength for His work by reading about it, any more than you can get thin by reading diet books, or build muscles by reading body-building magazines.
If you'll serve Him out of pure grind-it-out obedience, you'll be amazed at the heart He will give you for the work He's assigned you.
Let the exercises begin!