30 pull-ups? I can’t do that.

By Cindy Koch

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Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, 15 brave girls step out of their minivans on to the blacktop. The air is a little crisp, and the overcast sky is as vacant as the expressions I see trudging towards me. Cozy sweatshirts, half empty coffee mugs, puffy eyes, they slowly drag their insincere running shoes to our table. Small children begin to emerge, shadowing the path of zombie mamas; the young energy this morning only makes these weary women look even more exhausted. But they made it.

Warm up!

So every Tuesday and Thursday morning you will find a group of girls huddled together, beginning a walk. They begin slowly, arms crossed, legs sore and cold. As they round the first corner of their half mile warm up lap, I see a few smiles. Their pace quickens, the conversations initiate. By the time they make it around to meet me again, there are my friends! They have awaken.

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Stretch out.

We have a time set aside every Tuesday and Thursday for a workout club. It is made up of teenagers, moms, young adults, grandmas, a few kiddos, and even a husband now and then. We get together to move our bodies, get healthier, and get stronger. We have done everything from sprints to squats, sit-ups to pull-ups, and Zumba to kettlebells. It’s an ever-changing group of individuals due to schedules, interests, and ever-changing life. We have fun together, but something I didn’t ever expect was the amount of trust that would be built with these friends.

30 pull-ups, at your own pace.

“I can’t do that!” Oh the dirty looks that I capture on these sweet, beautiful faces! We push ourselves on Tuesday and Thursday to do things we never thought we could do. But those goals are not often met with enthusiastic Christmas stocking giggles of joy. No, these good and proper ladies protest in ways that may surprise even you. They know it is good for them, and they keep coming back for more; but there is something about hard work that no one looks forward to.

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Come on ladies, you CAN do this!

And something amazing happens on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They thought they could not. They said they could not. They did not want to even try. They did not like the 3 months of hard work that went into this goal. Someone outside of their own head and heart told them that they would do this! And they did it.

I was surprised that this hard work we do together leads to such trust. Not only do we sweat together, we complain together, we laugh with each other, we go through pain together. And the one thing we learn quickly about each other is we all get to the point where we say, “I can’t do that.” But I’ve realized that I must depend on something other than my own lazy thoughts, especially when the workouts get rough. I recognize the benefit of my trusted friend, who focuses my wandering heart on the goal that I desperately want to abandon. I am not strong enough to endure unless I have an external word to push me toward the prize.

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Nice work my good and faithful friends!

Our Tuesday and Thursday mornings have proven to be much more than just a workout club with some gal pals. We have had an opportunity to train our ears to trust another’s words of endurance. When adversary and pain visits our group outside of the workout on the whiteboard, when we see that our will and our power ultimately does fail, we might be strong enough then to listen to a Word from the outside.