No Comfortable Recovery *

Recently I attended a month-long military training, where they encouraged us to develop our own exercise habits--so that, once we completed the training and returned home, we would stay in shape.

Many of us there already had exercise habits and routines that we were accustomed to, routines that we felt had always helped us prepare well in the past.

Well, one of the instructors got my attention when he said, "Be careful not to do comfortable workouts."

Initially I thought to myself, "Well, aren't all workouts uncomfortable to some degree or another? Isn't that what makes it exercise?".

But then I realized, no, sometimes I personally find myself routinely doing the same exercises over and over again not because they help me improve, but because over time they have become easier and even enjoyable. What he meant was, to never fool ourselves into thinking that we were personally improving when in fact we might just be doing something that came easier to us and thus was more comfortable.

I found that to be a great analogy for my recovery. I know that I am good at certain things and that I do them frequently because they are more "comfortable". And then there are other things that I could be doing much better but don't focus on nearly as much because they are more "uncomfortable" and maybe new. Ignoring these uncomfortable elements (or action steps) of recovery contribute to relapse or even just stalling out.

Of course, I don't plan to stop all my good habits (both physical and spiritual) that I have now come to enjoy - for some of them I had to work hard to get to a point of where I enjoyed them! No, I will absolutely continue doing those good things. BUT I do those things now knowing that I need to pay extra attention to the things I haven't been doing. 

Since getting back from this training, for example, I've started swimming a lot for the first time (instead of running as much, which I enjoy and excel at), and sometimes (compared to the other swimmers in the pool) I just feel like a dead fish flopping in the water! But I know that if I'm consistent, one day I'll enjoy swimming as much as I do running.
Jonah was once content with his way of life. So was the Young Ruler, as was Peter, James, John, and the other fishermen and publicans and carpenters. All doing good things, all relatively comfortable in their way of life. But Christ challenged every single one of them, all with countless others, to become even better than they currently were.
"I hope . . . that . . . there will be in each of your hearts a resolution to live nearer to the limitless self that lies within you. I am not asking for perfection; I am asking for greater effort. . ..
You are . . . of God, each of you, endowed with something of his divinity. . .. You cannot afford to live beneath that portion of divinity. You cannot afford to hide it or to set it aside." 

-President Gordon B. Hinckley, 1910-2008

I concluded that there is no such thing as a comfortable recovery. If things are coming too easily, I need to see what more I can do.

* This post was written by my good friend, Jason, who, like Ammon, is a great example of strength and humility.

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