hope needs a plan

I do not want to write this post, but I feel that I must come clean about a few things. It saddens me to say it, but I have not yet healed from my injury. It’s been 4 weeks of chronic, constant, debilitating pain. I struggle to put my pants on, to tie my shoes, and God help me if I drop something on the floor. I have waffled between acceptance and frustration but today, today I am just plain sad. Over the weekend the spasms started in again, I spent all of yesterday laying in bed, near tears, trying to find peace with this road block. Asking myself, will I ever be able to do Crossfit again? Am I doomed to a life of swimming for exercise? Can I run? What if I am being chased? The thing that really gets me though is this: Two years ago I had a very similar injury that occurred when I reached 196 pounds. The injury was such a major set-back that within 1 1/2 years I had regained a lot of the weight I worked so hard to lose, getting back up to 227 lbs. I refuse to allow that to happen again.

Fitness plays a major role in my life. It is more than a way to spend an hour of my day, it is the critical component in warding off depression, keeping my diet in check and it is the fuel to my creativity. Exercising changes my perspective, it is my daily meditation, it keeps me focused and without it, I feel…well I feel a bit lost. I haven’t lifted, run, burpeed or snatched in 4 weeks, and I am starting to fear that maybe I never will again. Which poses a question: If I cannot exercise, how will I define my life?

See, I am the girl that works out. I am the girl who eats healthy, and has fought to overcome depression by choosing transformation. I am the girl who has overcome obesity, and who is working towards sculpting a beautiful body through discipline and hard work. For 4 weeks, I haven’t been this person, for the last 4 weeks, I have been someone else…the old me (and not in a good way.)

Instead of embracing this chance to prove just how much my diet has changed I have been mindlessly noshing because I am bored, unchallenged and sad. This time has felt like a desert: I am wandering and lost and crying out – who am I? what am I supposed to be doing with my life? since when do I like peanut m&m’s?

I have not destroyed my progress, but I definitely don’t feel as good as I felt a month ago. My abs are soft, I’ve gained about 3 pounds, and I am terrified that if I don’t stop and assess right now, that I am going to find myself at 250 lbs faster than I can blink.

The good news is that this time, this injury, I have something in my life that I was missing two years ago: I have faith. I believe that all things work for good (read Romans 8:28). I have faith that God is orchestrating tremendous change in my life and this setback could be viewed as a catalyst, even though I cannot see the path. My Christianity is defining me in a way fitness never could, so while I am missing Crossfit, I am abundantly blessed.

I forgot that no matter how much I love Crossfit, or cooking, or writing, God must always come first. He must be the reason, and if I can keep my eyes set on him, everything else will be exactly as it is meant to be.

So, while I wander in this particular desert, where I am unable to do the thing that seems to fuel the rest of my life, I do not wander alone. God is with me, showing me just how much he loves me, and for this I am eternally grateful. I love an amazing Lord, and he loves me, and I get to live the rest of my life trying to understand that love. In that lives my hope.

So here is my lesson: Hope needs a plan.

I am a terrible planner when it comes to my own life. For four years I have lived day to day, hoping things will work out the way I want them to, but I have done a terrible job of embracing vision and seeking anything new. Why? Because I suffered an EPIC failure, and my confidence has never quite recovered.

I have understood “hope” incorrectly – I have been hoping passively, and that is not what God intended. He wants me “hoping” actively, he wants me to consult him, then he wants me to try without worry. If I start to head down the wrong path, I know he will redirect me, but he wants me to hold tight to the promise he has made: God promises if we seek, we will find. That is an insane promise!!

I know that without fitness as a daily constant I am more likely to eat a poor diet, or to have a bad attitude. With a plan, I can counteract my diet, eat at a calorie deficit, diligently track my food, so that I am in control and can continue to see progress, I can still reach my goal of 165 by Christmas, even if I have to follow a different plan than I originally intended. I know this because I feel like Crossfit, writing and cooking are all part of my calling. I feel the closest to God when I following my purpose.

I am hopeful that at the end of this injury I will be able to get back to Crossfit, that I will be more mindful of my condition and I will be able to perform more efficiently I will learn to do every lift correctly and I will listen more intently to my body. When it says rest, I will listen. I will seek, I will find, and I will know that I am being led by a good Shepard.

It’s been an emotional month, but the lesson I have learned is critical to the rest of my life. I can not know the future, but I can be prepared and I can act in faith with a plan to succeed in reaching my goals no matter what the circumstances. From now on, for the rest of my life I will hope with a plan.