The weird thing about goals is that the significance of each respective benchmark you set isn’t determined by the goal itself – the importance of the goal is invariably determined by where we’re coming from.
By the time this summer rolled around, I was in the best shape of my life. I ran every other day, I lifted every other day, swam a few times a week, and tried to get to a class like yoga or pilates once a week. I’m not a narcissistic person, but I was proud of the active lifestyle I’d been leading. As someone who once smoked, once drank too much, and once could eat a metric ton of buffalo wings in one sitting, I entered the summer before my 29th birthday with 7 percent body fat, bench pressing 300 pounds, and running a mile in the 6-minute range.
Of course, the events of June 18 altered what my goals would have been moving forward. Not only did I suffer extensive injuries, but I lost somewhere around 12 pounds or so sitting in a hospital bed, and lost most of my strength and endurance to boot.
It’s been 7 weeks since the accident, and while my broken bones are healing and/or healed, I still face severe inflammation on my entire left side when I try to exercise (not to mention the bits of glass that are still lodged in my arm), and the scar tissue from the chest tube insertion is fibrous, hard, and painful. On top of that, multiple physicians who treated me confirmed that it took three attempts to successfully insert the tube, so I have intense pain in my left pectoral muscle where the tube was apparently jabbed in an effort to find a cozy spot in the pleural cavity. Also, my nerves are still recovering on my left side – I’ve experienced tingling, electric-like pain, numbness, occasional twitching, and weakness in my left arm.
I was able to run a mile on the treadmill a few weeks ago in 12 minutes, and I can FINALLY swim some laps in the pool. Two months ago, my goals would have looked completely different, but that’s fine. I’ve found new strength, new faith, and new purpose through my recovery. And I constantly keep in mind, as Phillipians 4:13 reads:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
With that said, here are some of my goals for the month of August:
– Run a mile in 10 minutes or less.
-Begin bench pressing again (due to restrictions and the pectoral pain, the most I’ve even tried to do at this time are machined and just performing repetitions of the bar to failure).
– Be at the gym three times a week (this is easier said than done when there are so many ready-made excuses at your fingertips).
– Run 3 miles (regardless of time) by the end of the month.
– Perhaps the biggest goal of all? Do well in school. I take a full course load (13 credit hours) during the day and a CNA class at night, so excelling in school, working part time, spending quality time with my family, and meeting my fitness goals will be one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever faced.
But I worship a powerful God, I’m married to an awesome woman, I am surrounded by supportive friends and family – so I’m hopeful.