“Anything worthwhile is uphill.”
Author and Motivational Speaker
John C. Maxwell

Nothing is ever handed to you.
You have to work for it.
You have to wait for it.

You have to sweat for it.
Believe for it.
Fight for it.

There are mountains to climb.
There are valleys to survive.
There are elements to endure.

You have to earn your stripes.
You have to wear your medals proud because,

“Anything worthwhile is uphill.”
Author and Motivational Speaker
John C. Maxwell

After joining a gym membership six months ago, I thought my decision was only about getting in shape.

That mental neon sign vying for my attention with the big 60 was not a speed limit sign, but an upcoming age warning that if I wanted to squeeze every ounce from my life to enjoy with our ten grandchildren, I needed to embrace the motto:

Stronger for Longer
Pastor Dick Bashta

Interestingly, our setbacks are sometimes our setups for a bigger message.

In my quest to healthier living, my early morning ritual begins with lacing those trainers, pouring into those yoga pants I swore I’d never wear, and sweating for 90 minutes at the gym with sermons and music playing in my ears.

Morning after morning and under my breath when the early alarm goes off, I repeatedly coach myself with a motivational pep talk to lace up for the gym and imagine being fit and Stronger for Longer, though I’d rather roll over and sleep for another hour.

Unaware and to my surprise of an undercover setup, were strangers whom I’d eventually observe while walking the treadmill, while suffering the elliptical miles or crunching my abs.

Those whose setbacks didn’t limit them.

Those members of this gym who left their valid excuses at home, because these motivational heroes were,
Inspired for More.

I had to do a double take when I first saw him enter the 30 minute circuit room. This young adult was a new face from the regulars I had grown accustomed to seeing so early in the morning.  Trying not to stare, this new face caught my attention, admiring his confidence while walking through unfamiliar surroundings, beginning his workout with the assistance of a walking cane and a woman quite possibly his mother, as this gym member was blind.

Being new to the workout world myself and a novice of health and getting fit, I wasn’t naïve to believe that special needs kept others from living their life. I just never had a front row seat to witness someone breaking thru their limitations, someone who forged forward exuding the spirit of an overcomer.

He was an overcomer too, an older gentlemen who kept to himself. One who grimaced in pain while dragging one foot as he slowly walked from machine to machine, stopping every now and then to catch his breath when the pain appeared to overwhelm.  Regardless, this gentleman put in a strenuous workout as we all did, though he did so with a prosthetic leg, without complaining, and without excuse.

Just two regular guys I observe from the treadmill, both desiring fitness like everyone else in the gym, yet Inspired for More, had to kick their excuses to the curb first before lacing up their trainers each morning.

We all have excuses in areas of our life, though maybe not as noticeable as being blind or wearing a prosthetic leg.

Reasons we believe are valid and excuse us, yet limit us, hold us back, and prevent us from living our authentic life.

We all have the capacity to Inspire Others for More.

I’ve been Inspired for More by those who don’t let the excuse of work keep them from a workout before their professional day begins.  Losing sleep to gain a healthier life speaks the message of discipline and NO EXCUSES.  Before dawn, all walks of professional life give their time in sweat, then shower and leave the gym dressed in suits, medical scrubs, hard hats, etc., for which I tip my hat off to each of them.

I’ve been Inspired for More to “not give up” by those older or with more weight to lose than me, yet they are “killing it” in their endurance on the tread mill or elliptical.

I’ve been Inspired for More by the compassion of those expanding the fences of their “workout group” to include others, that fitness challenges be faced together and not alone.

I’ve been Inspired for More to value others like those at the front desk who intentionally strive to remember our names, to greet us by name as a personal way to honor us as gym guests, not as paying members.

I’ve been Inspired for More imagining that dream of running a race beside my son, a marathoner and ironman.  Though it’s just an experienced athlete running a fast pace on the treadmill, with me walking quickly next to him with miles behind him on mine.  Moms can still dream.

Might an overcomer Inspire Us for More.

Might someone pushing beyond their limits encourage us to embrace their motto of No Excuses.

Might we pursue “the abundant”,
“the fruitful”,
“the cup that overflows”.

Might we be Inspired for More,
to Want More,
to Believe for More.

Remembering though:

Nothing is ever handed to us.
You have to work for it.
You have to earn your stripes.

But be not discouraged by the mountain you face, as:

“Anything worthwhile is uphill.”
Author and Motivational Speaker
John C. Maxwell

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Author Lori A Alicea and her beloved husband David of 29 years thank you for sharing a moment of your day with them at Apples of Gold Encouragement. It is their desire you experience their heart for family, love, encouragement and God through the words God has put on Lori’s heart to write. They are hopeful you discover a few treasures of encouragement, realizing we all share common threads in our lives. Be blessed in your day.

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