Planks and Thanks. This was a ten day challenge to do planks each day for ten days and also do random acts of kindness each of these days. In case you don’t know, a plank is an exercise that doesn’t require any equipment. It’s kind of like doing a fully extended push up on your hands or on your elbows and holding for as long as you can. It’s supposed to be one of the best exercises because it builds core strength in your body, sculpts your waistline, improves your posture and can be modified to work on arms, legs and your whole body. Simple, but not so easy. Previous to this, I had used an app on my phone that starts on the first day holding a plank for 20 seconds and then works up to 5 minutes on day 30. I’ve gotten to about day four, holding for 30 seconds at the most and then for some reason never kept going. Uh, several times. So when I accepted this ten day Planks and Thanks challenge, I figured the accountability would help me keep going. I have been working on the nutritional aspect of my health and this would be a jump start for me on the physical fitness aspect.
There were at least six people I personally know that did this Planks and Thanks challenge along with me. However, when I accepted the challenge I didn’t realize that we would start out planking for one minute and then increase a minute a day, reaching ten minutes on day ten. Yeah right, that wasn’t going to happen, but I had already accepted the challenge and I want to be a woman of my word. The other kink in all of this is that we were to do a live video on Facebook. I think I dreaded this more than the planking!
Little did I realize the lessons I would learn doing this simple ten day challenge. As I write this, it is day ten of this challenge and we did it! I asked my co-plankers to let me know if they learned anything through this experience. Those who know me, and especially my family, know that I always find a spiritual lesson to be learned in all that we do.
Here’s a summary of what we have learned:
- We all did far more than what we thought we could. Too many times we give up before we begin, because we think we can’t. We don’t read our bible because we think we can’t understand it. We don’t pray because we think we don’t know how. We don’t apply for that job we want because we don’t think we’ll get it. We defeat ourselves in our thinking. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLV) We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ. I didn’t realize that I had such a defeatist attitude about this challenge until I examined my thoughts. I found out that I needed to examine all areas of my life for negative thinking and attitudes.
2. It’s easier to do something if you have support behind you. I personally tend to be a loner, try to do things on my own at times and certainly am not a “social” exerciser. Days one, two and nine of this challenge I was alone when I planked. The rest of the days I had my granddaughters, husband, or other family and friends with me and it was so much better. Whether we think so or not, we do need encouragement from others. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We need to let other people in and ask for help sometimes.
3. You have to remember to breathe. Breathing properly ensures that your muscles will continue to receive the oxygen they need to function effectively especially when being pushed by exercise. Otherwise, our bodies fatigue faster, and there can be all sorts of physical issues with blood flow, attention, etc. The bible speaks of breathing and the breath of life. We cannot forget to spiritually breathe which is a powerful symbol of the life-giving presence of God. Job 32:8 But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.
4. We are creating our physical “savings account”. Our physical fitness can determine how well we can overcome and recover when accidents or illnesses come along. This means we can’t wait until we’re sick or have an accident to start doing things that are good for us and make us healthy. We also need to have emotional and spiritual savings accounts for when trials and temptations come our way. We can’t just wait until we have a problem to pick up our bible or pray. We have to work on our knowledge and relationship with the Lord every day. Luke 21:36 (ERV) So be ready all the time. Pray that you will be able to get through all these things that will happen and stand safe before the Son of Man.
5. We can’t beat ourselves up if we miss a day or even several. God shows us mercy. We can show ourselves a little mercy, too, if our hearts are in the right place. 1 John 3:19-20 (ICB) This is the way we know that we belong to the way of truth. When our hearts make us feel guilty, we can still have peace before God. God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Ok. Let’s pace ourselves. We’ll take a breather right now and stretch it out til next week. I’ll work out some more spiritual examples in next week’s blog. I hope you come back pumped up for the remainder of the Ten Lessons in Ten Days. I can’t weight. 😉