Short on Purpose

Since my birthday is in December, my star sign is Sagittarius, the archer. Every once in a while, I’ll look at things that are made for my star sign, like horoscopes or jewellery or what-have-you, and I find that a lot of the time, they end up being true. And one particular saying I found that happened to be very true is this:

“Sagittarius is engaged on an eternal quest for meaning.”

Apparently, Sagittarians need a purpose in their lives. I can vouch that this is true, for me anyways.

I get frustrated and edgy when I feel like I’m not doing anything purposeful with my life. Writing has helped a lot with that, since a novel is something I can work on every day, but something else that’s giving me daily purpose is exercise.

I’ve been working out a lot more than I used to, these past few weeks, trying to whip myself into shape. I’m not trying to fit into 0-size jeans or get a bikini-ready body or anything like that–I’m trying to get stronger. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I don’t like to be considered weak in any way.

Problem is, I ain’t buff.

I’m not brawny, or formidable, or even very tall. Oh, the shortness. For a long time, that bugged me. Technically, I’m average height for a woman, but I’m the shortest in my family. And friends. And they make fun of me. It bugged the crap out of me for longer than it should’ve, but now I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve accepted it, and kind of like it. “Kind of” being the key words. But the point is, I’m not big and tall and intimidating in size, so if I want to be considered strong, it’ll have to come from my muscles.

So I’ve been spending as much time as I can spare on the treadmill and doing strength exercises, trying to build up some nice biceps, abs, and some endurance if I can. I’m pushing myself to go as far and as hard as I can, and I’m seeing just a little bit of improvement. Nothing spectacular, but enough to make me feel like I’m really making a difference with my body, and that makes me pretty happy.

The funny thing is, I used to hate working out. I couldn’t stand running on the treadmill or doing push-ups. I found it to be boring, tiring, and a waste of time. Most of all, I hated the feeling of extreme weakness that comes when you push yourself as far as you can go. I hated when my arms felt like noodles and my legs like lumps of lead. After all, if it’s strength I’m aiming for, why would I want to make myself weak?

Well, turns out you gotta go through the weakness to get to the strength. You have to know what it’s like to be born short and unable to change that–helpless. You have to know what it’s like to be thought of as small before you’ve got the motivation and energy to make yourself big. If I’d never experienced unhappiness because I’m short, or frustration because I didn’t have a purpose, then I would never have realized that I actually enjoy exercise. I wouldn’t have made the effort or improvement that I have.

Working out is my way of giving myself strength, both physical and mental. Physically, I know I’m getting stronger and more capable of handling myself, no matter what life throws at me. Mentally, I know that I’m taking active steps to improve myself and make me into the kind of person want to be. I’m overcoming the shortness that plagued me. I’m finding a way to compensate.

Will I ever look like a body builder? Not at all. I don’t plan to. I’m  just happy to keep at it, to never stop trying. I’ll go through the weakness to get to the strength, and hopefully come out of it as a better person. It’s given me a purpose, and I like the sound of that.

Do you have a daily purpose driving you on?

May your moments of weakness be brief, but drive you into times of great strength.

-Alex

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