The journey toward fitness and wellness can often seem a daunting task, but it is a journey and that happens one step at a time. A wise person said, “It is the journey that forges us.”
That step by step process shapes us into something strong, enduring, and successfully allows us to move ahead with slow and steady progress. I recently visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. or “Philly, the city of brotherly love.” It is the location site of a famous film about a novice boxer named Rocky Balboa, who was facing unbeatable odds as he prepared for his first time in the ring.
In the film, he is undertaking some gruelling daily training and at the end of one of his final training days, he runs for what seems like miles until he finally comes to the 72 steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Here he makes a dramatic sprint toward a final ascent and ends at the top of the stairs raising his hands and jumping for joy as he victoriously completes his training. As I stood at the bottom of those stairs and looked up, I thought about how overwhelming something can look if we are focused on all the steps it will take to get from one point to another. I also thought about how in this season, I am learning the value and the power of just focusing on one single step of obedience at a time.
Psalms 37:23 has something to stay about the step by step process. It says, “The steps of the righteous are ordered or established by God and He delights in his way.” Since this is true, we understand that our course is guided step by step, and that there is a “way” of approach as we look at both our collective and individual journey toward fitness and wellness. There are many books written and many goal setting strategies related to this topic, but I have found the core truth of step by step obedience is what provides a successful foundation for all of these.
In a sharing of personal process, I was at a very unhealthy place in life at one point and felt overwhelmed by the journey toward wellness ahead, and the first step I heard was, “Just start with your shoes.” Literally, if I could just put my running shoes on in the morning, I was more likely to actually walk out the door to run. I thought, “What about planning and setting up goals and, and, and.” I heard again, “Just start with your shoes,” then just as quickly Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise the day of small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work.”
Goal setting, planning, and making preparation will surely be a part of our journey; strategies like “WDEP”, What is the goal? What am I doing now? Evaluating discrepancies between the two and planning for change is a great method, but first things first. Ask yourself what is my first required step of obedience toward wellness, and then do that with all your heart. Let us endeavour to take one step at a time, until the steps behind us are more than the steps before us.
- Francine Sandoval
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- American Council of Exercise Trainer
- Community PPG Washington, D.C./Virginia Area U.S.