Six packs don’t happen

“Do you think you’ll wake up one morning with a six pack?” He yelled. And no, he wasn’t referring to a six pack of alcohol (ahem..or soda). It was a trainer at the gym shouting at us as he gruelingly demanded another 10 crunches. I was thinking that he was taking his job way too seriously. I was panting like a winded dog and every muscle in my body was trembling from the strain. “You’ve got to work for it! So come on, push yourself. You can do it! Five, four….”. I think trainers take a few courses in human motivation.  I nearly passed out on my first week back to the gym after putting on baby weight for a year like I was getting paid. I couldn’t remember working out being that hard. But boy that after-workout feeling is incomparable. Fast forward to the next morning and you can barely move. Thankfully after a few weeks, if you keep at it, you start to reap the benefits.

The shouting remained with me as I hit the shower and headed off to work that day and for weeks to come. It does need work. Persistent work at that; to get anything worthwhile in life. You’re probably saying “duh” because this seems so obvious. Yet when I look at my life there are times when I’ve operated as though that principle doesn’t exist. I’ve been expecting to harvest much more than I’ve planted. A quick google search on weight loss will reveal that many are searching for shortcuts. Ads abound enticing us to “Lose weight FAST. Without diet or exercise.” I am always skeptical about such ads. We try all sorts of diets only to fall right back to old habits that kept us overweight or unhealthy before.

This is not just on health issues. We want everything fast: dream jobs, promotions, a thriving business, six figure earnings, big house on the hill, a great relationship, the list goes on. Death is the only thing we hope doesn’t come fast. We get frustrated when things don’t come as quick as  microwave popcorn (I still prefer my popcorn popped the traditional way). We want to “make it” without the toiling part. That I believe is folly because the principle of sowing and reaping applies in all areas of our life. We’ve got to prepare, plant and prune before we produce. Many times we want to skip to the produce party. I think the produce is more valuable and enjoyable when we put in the work. A thousand shillings that you busted your behind or brains for is so much more valuable than the one you were given or picked off the street (not someone else’s pocket hopefully).

That one sweaty gym morning session got me thinking and rethinking about the produce I want to see not only in my physical health but in my spiritual life, my marriage, family, career, personal development and social life. Once envisioned then I’ve got to prepare, plant and prune. That too can be enjoyed rather than viewed as drudgery. I’m all for enjoying the journey and not simply hanging in there for the final “destination”. The means towards the end matters just as much as the end. What journey are you on? I hope you’re enjoying it. Get some like-minded people on board with you and make a party of it.

Sow and reap


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