“I didn’t think you were coming back,” the fitness instructor said when she saw me coming through the door. I can understand her comment, since after my first attempt in class I had whined about battling head-to-toe muscle aches for days afterwards. But despite feeling like I had been run over with a Mack truck after exercising, something in me said, “don’t quit after one try.”
The morning the class rolled around again, I awoke to my radio playing the song “Stronger,” by Mandisa. The first words to reach my ears were, “The pain ain’t gonna last forever, and things can only get better; Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger.” Obviously she wasn’t singing specifically about my attempt at strengthening my muscles, but I smiled at God and considered it a wink of encouragement to pull on my stretch pants again that night.
My exercise teacher’s response made me think back a few years to my first day at a new job. I was introduced to a tiny but tough-looking woman who was retiring from the position I was filling. Having been in the job for at least a millennium, she quickly conveyed the not-so-subtle message that no one could possibly fill her shoes – and that she fully expected me to fail miserably. Continue reading