Lessons I’m Learning About Discipline

Posted on March 6, 2014

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It was an absolutely beautiful January morning in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. Dara and I had taken our kids to Romare Bearden Park (pictured) to play football, wander around and simply enjoy a day with the family. Our ten year old, Max, dropped the ball in front of him and launched a perfect punt way over my head. A shining moment of athletic brilliance (at least I would like to think so). As I turned and ran to go get the ball, I was reminded again about something that was nagging me for the past several months. I was terribly out of shape.

My sister, Leah Douglas, is a fitness coach. She’s one of the most disciplined people I know. I called her shortly after my winded run to go fetch Max’s punt and told her that I was ready to commit to disciplining myself to truly care for my body. She took a pretty unexpected route. She asked me one simple question, “Why?”

“I want to be able to keep up with my kids.”

“I want to stop feeling like caffeine is my source of energy.” 

“I want to still be running around with my kids ten years from now.”

During this conversation, I started to realize that she was digging deeper into the purpose of this motivation. She said, “I will coach you and Dara through this, but you have to promise me something.” I hesitantly asked her to continue. “You aren’t allowed to give up. You have to follow through with what you are saying you’re going to do today.”

We agreed. She even sent along a contract. That’s not a joke. We agreed to join her 60 day fitness challenge that is moderated through Facebook. Dara and I taking a journey with about ten other people around the country that are sharing this journey together. Some days feel like we were born to work out. Other days feel like my body despises me. But we’re feeling better, losing wait, gaining energy and feeling so much healthier.

Here’s what I’m learning: Discipline is a choice. No one is making Dara and I do this. But abstaining from unhealthy food and enduring some pretty brutal workouts are producing results. The more that I am committing to a healthy life, the more I’m reminded abut discipline in my heart, mind and spirit, as well.

Discipline is my choice. And even though it’s going great today, I can choose tomorrow to return to an undisciplined life. And just like every other area of my life, I am going to feel the effects of my decisions. Something Leah said to me stuck out to me so much a few days ago (I think she got this from someone else), and I’ll leave you with this:

“You can either live with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

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