So Saturday, I was at my gym, and I was getting some cardio in before lifting. A few weeks ago, I pulled my hamstring because I dropped to do a push-up too quickly in a game of reverse charades.. I’m getting old, I know. (Everyone 30 and above is rolling their eyes, but seriously, my body feels old), and I digress.
My gym is set up with a floating upstairs area. All the cardio machines are upstairs and you can look down at the first floor area that houses the free weights. As I was on the elliptical, I was looking around and I couldn’t help but notice how the free weight area was 90% occupied by men while the cardio area was 90% occupied by women. I started to think about the standards society throws at us. Guys are supposed to be macho, built, strong, chiseled. Girls are supposed to be skinny and toned. It makes sense that all the girls are doing cardio while the guys are bulking up. We are trying to fit into the molds society has forced upon us.
For years I fell into the lie that I had to burn so many calories through cardio or I wasn’t really getting a workout in. If I didn’t go for a 4-7 mile run I felt like I hadn’t actually worked out. I knew the more muscle you built up, the more calories you burned at a stand still, but I couldn’t make myself give up my cardio to lift. I couldn’t give up cardio. This past August, I began to lift regularly. It took awhile for me to break the need for cardio every day, but as I continued in this routine I began to see my body get stronger. It’s been such a freeing experience to be able to change up something as simple as my workout routine.
So why am I writing about my workouts? The point is that everyday we are bombarded by a slew of ideals and molds that the world sends our way. Instagram is filled with perfect model pictures and fitness guru accounts. The checkout area of the grocery store is lined with magazines showing you how to achieve the perfect body. In reality, everybody is flawed, and everyone has insecurities, we just don’t highlight them. It’s so hard to break out of the mold and step into freedom. It’s something I’m working towards achieving. I want to live in freedom rather than in a life of restrictions trying to fit the world’s molds.
These molds go way past body image. Society tells us we have to be successful and work towards our big house with a white picket fence. Society looks at us funny when we are 24 and single. What’s wrong with you? Why are you so picky? Society says we need to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, and do a certain thing. If our life doesn’t fit inside that tiny mold, then surely we are doing something wrong.
But God says that we are uniquely and wonderfully made. He handcrafted us for a specific purpose that no other person on this planet could fulfill. There’s no mold for that kind of life. Break the mold with me and lets start living in the freedom Christ died for us to attain.