If you're anything like me, you may have a closet in your house that no one gets to see. And in that closet, you may hide the multitude of craft projects that you started but never finished. If I got brave enough and let you look in mine, you'd see skeins of yarn for the baby afghan I began crocheting but never finished. You'd see squares cut and pieced for the quilt I began but never finished. You'd even see a dress pattern pinned to fabric and cut apart but not stitched together because it was never finished. Are you seeing the trend here? I tend to start a lot of things...yet I seem to finish very few! Whether its books I'm reading (or writing!) or craft projects or even housecleaning (a half-cleaned half-bath isn't really cleaned at all, btw!)...unfinished tends to be pretty typical in my life.
Tonight was almost another one of those moments in my life. I'm still having a lot of pain and swelling in my knees from my latest flare up of arthritis. Tendonitis is really hurting me a bit, too. Physical therapy is helping, but walking the treadmill tonight was a no-no for me according to my incredible PT. So I used the bike at the gym. I set the timer for 30 minutes, fully intending to ride the bike that whole time. But at about 12 minutes in, I started to get tired. I paid attention to my knee for a few minutes and assessed my pain while I continued to pedal. It was about a 5/10 on the pain scale...which is what it was when I started and is the limit that Angie has given me right now to not push past. I had just about given myself permission to stop at 15 minutes and leave the rest unfinished.
But then I stopped myself. I happened to notice the song on my iPod right at that moment was one that I've written about before..."She's So Gone". It's about being a new girl and the old girl with her habits and attitudes being gone...and never coming back. And I decided right then that I was unwilling to leave that workout unfinished. Angie said don't push past 5/10 pain. She didn't say stop at 5! Stopping that workout would mean leaving one more thing in my life unfinished...and I was unwilling to do that!
"Unfinished" is a character trait that belongs to a girl who's GONE. She's not coming back...and her old, unproductive habits need to get gone too! There was no real reason to not finish that ride tonight. Being tired is a temporary condition. Once you push past it, you discover that you've got a second wind right there waiting for you. Had I left that bike ride unfinished, however, I'd have never experienced that.
I got to thinking that my entire journey is really a work in progress. If I was willing to leave this workout unfinished tonight, what would that be saying about the journey I'm on? Would I be willing to leave that unfinished, too? Would I be OK with getting close to my ultimate goal in health and weight loss but stopping short of actually reaching it? Oh, NO!!! NO! NO! NO! NO!!!!!!! That is NOT going to happen!
So, from now on, I'm a finisher. I am unwilling to leave things unfinished in my life any longer. I am not going to compromise my journey by allowing myself to think that leaving things undone is OK without a valid reason. This whole situation tonight reminded me of one of my favorite Psalms. I enjoy reading it best in a modern English version, and here's what it says...
"Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: "Thank you!" Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength. When they hear what you have to say, God, all earth's kings will say "Thank you." They'll sing of what you've done: "How great the glory of God!" And here's why: God, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us. When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal - don't quit on me now." Psalm 138 (The Message)
If God is a finisher...I will be, too! BTW, I did finish that bike ride...all 10.8 miles of it...and then tossed in 225 crunches just for kicks! Now, anyone wanna remind me how to crochet?!?!