Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Motherhood: Chapter 22 -- Building Endurance : Building Character

On my first evening "walk" with Sabrina, I wanted to get some exercise. I wanted to feel like I got a work out. So I challenged her endurance during our walk. I tried to keep her to a brisk pace and we walked a total of about 3 miles in about 45 minutes. It was not such a touch "work out" for me. But for her ... it was rough.

The first 20 minutes was mostly downhill and filled with fun things to see. The second half was uphill along a busy familiar street. The second half was filled with complaints and cramps and desires for taxis to come pick us up. At one point she even broke down in tears and said she couldn't go any further.

This is when I picked her up on my back and ran up the steep hill with her. Okay, so I only made it about 100 yards up the steep hill with her on my back but it got me a work out and changed her attitude. She was so concerned that I not die. "Don't run Mama! I don't want you do die of a heart attack." I assured her I was just fine and that this walk wasn't even that hard for me so I had more than enough energy to carry her.

The next time we went walking, I let her pick the pace and the direction to make sure she would enjoy it more. We went about a mile in about 30 minutes. There were no complaints. The third time we went walking it was my turn to pick the direction and distance. We walked almost 4 miles in about an hour. We challenged each other with stints of running periodically. There were cramps and complaints but they were fewer than the first time and there was no need to carry anyone up a hill. Instead we ran the 100 yards I carried her before just to show that hill who was boss.

Yesterday Sabrina had PE at school. She came home and told me she ran the 400 meter lap faster than she ever had before. She was proud of herself and she knew it was her walking with me that had improved her stamina and speed.

Building endurance is hard work. Sometimes the results are slower to come than a week of walking with mom. But whether we want to get physically stronger, better able to mentally focus, or just heal from some trauma, endurance is the key.

And it helps to know that in most cases, there is someone there to "pick you up" when you just can't go any further. Whether it is a family member, a friend, or the Savior himself, God usually provides aid when we need it most.

It is pushing through and continuing through the pain that builds our endurance and our character. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, and self confidence. It lets us know that we really can do hard things, especially when the Savior is on our team.

Sometimes it is hard to push our kids to and through these "hard things." Our mother hearts want to keep them safe and happy. Kids (or people in general) are not usually happy about having to do hard things. But it is good for them. It is good for them to reach a point where they thing they can not go further, only to help them see that they can. Sometimes with just the littlest incentive or aid they can regain their strength and keep going. And that is the key to life sometimes, especially when doing hard things. Sometimes you just have to keep going.