I'd watched the Biggest Loser over the years but wasn't an avid fan. As I watched contestants sweat profusely, vomit, and pass out, I thought, "Man, that looks hard."
I thought maybe we'd ease into the workouts. I mean they had told us we were not just obese; we were MORBIDLY obese. Obese as we were, we were jumping into the deep end with the first workout.
During that workout I found myself on a treadmill for an hour and a half.... at an incline. I'd watched my fellow contestants be summoned one-by-one for their one-on-one with the trainers. As the hours passed by, I thought maybe I had avoided the beatdown, and then I looked up and saw her.... come for me.
"Abby, come here!" barked Jillian Michaels.
Starting the workout already exhausted and out of breath was not the way I would have chosen in my dream scenario. She took me over to this hideous contraption I later learned was a stair master. If you've never had the pleasure, it's like an escalator that NEVER ends.
I'd estimated I had been on that thing about the same amount of time as the treadmill, but Jill told me it was only five minutes. I think she lied.
She then continued the beating with countless other apparatus that were whipping me. At one point I was literally seeing stars and questioned whether or not I will live to tell the tale.
At this point she took me back over to the treadmill and told me to lay down. For that one split second I felt a sense of relief. That was short lived. Rest was not at all what she had in mind for me. She wanted me to grip the bar from underneath and hoist myself up ten times. Now mind you, I'm 247 pounds and sweaty.
Somehow I managed to heave myself up those ten times. She then told me to lift myself up and hold it for ten seconds. Giving it everything I had, I held on for dear life for the longest ten seconds of my life. When I finished, secretly I was giving her a "Boo-ya" in my mind.
Then she wanted to see what I was "really" made of, so she stood on me. In case you missed it, I'm holding onto this stupid bar with Jillian Michaels physically STANDING on me. (Just wanted to give you time to get a visual.)
Regardless of how hard I gripped that bar, my hands would slip, and I would fall. I would grip again. I would fall again. I don't know if I've ever been angrier in my life. I was giving it EVERYTHING I had, and it wasn't good enough. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to try really, really, really hard at something, I like to do it well.
Who am I kidding? I like to be the best. And, if I think I'm going to try really, really, really hard at something and not do well, then I'm probably just not going to try. I mean, really. Who wants to be a failure? Can I get an Amen?
The beauty of hindsight is that it provides crystal clear clarity. Once I got over being mad, (and let's be honest, that took some time) I realized that for the first time since the wreck I was giving my all to something. Granted, my all wasn't good enough that day, but had I not failed there, I would never be here. That initial failure allowed me to have far more successes... in the gym, and more importantly, in real life. I thank God for that failure.
What I ultimately learned is FAILURE ISN'T FATAL!
When we take the chances that allow us to fail, we are actually giving ourselves the opportunity to live. Then we break out of the mundane of life, and God is able to do abundantly more than we can ever imagine. But that only happens when we walk in obedience... stepping out on faith when we may fail.
My challenge to you is to do something that puts you out of comfort zone, big or small, in the next two days. Embrace the opportunity to fail. I have a sneaking suspicion, you'll be glad you did. Let me know how it goes.