This week I tried a cycling class for the first time. Riding a stationary bike doesn’t typically appeal to me, as I prefer to cycle outdoors with natural scenery and fresh air. Yet it’s winter where I live, and I won’t be biking outside for a while. Between that and the fact that this class is taught by my favorite instructor at the gym, I decided to go for it.
As I got rolling, I felt the burn in my quadriceps and wondered how I’d be fairing by the end of the class. Thankfully the teacher kept it interesting and, since she knows many of her students by name, she can encourage us individually as well as collectively. It was in a moment of group motivation when she said something that caught my ear. Referring to why we should shift into a harder gear on our bikes she said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” I had never heard this quotation before (credited to Fred DeVito) and it really resonated with me.
How true is this concept, not only in the moments of building physical muscle, but also in other areas of life that build the muscles of character, compassion, and wisdom. We can challenge ourselves to make better choices, to reach out to the broken in new ways, and to learn how to reverence something or someone different than us.
I made it through the cycling class and though my legs were a bit shaky afterward, I felt good for having taken on the challenge of altering my workout regime. My body felt the genesis of change from this experience — ever so slightly stronger and healthier for having done it. I plan to go again.
Where might you consider taking on a new challenge in your life… a challenge that has the potential to change you for the better?
May you be inspired!