Hope is not a treadmill

I talk a lot about the concept of hope. I play with it, shout it out, sing it, toss it about and, God willing, sometimes even instill it in others. I want to be very clear on how I feel about hope.

Hope is great to have, but it is useless if you stop at the having.

Have you ever bought a piece of exercise equipment with all intentions of getting off your cottage-cheese behind and making grand improvements in your health and weight? You spent time planning and deciding on where, exactly, you wanted to start. You asked others, perhaps did a little comparison shopping, and finally took the plunge. You became the proud owner of a shiny new piece of hope.

Hope is not an impulse buy.

The first day, you spent time setting it up in just the right place – in front of the TV or a window, so that you would stay motivated and entertained. You may have bought all the paraphernalia that goes with it – a workout suit, water bottle, protein bars, scale, progress chart, etc.

Hope takes planning.

You are so excited that you overdo it the first day and can barely move the next day. Woops. You learn that it’s easier and actually works better if you start slow and work your way toward your goal. Slowly, you build up to that faster pace and longer time that the in-shape folks use.

Hope takes endurance.

As the days wear on, you realize that this is something you must do EVERY day. If you miss a couple of days in a row, it’s almost like starting over.

Hope is only the starting point.

Now you’re cooking. Literally. You’ve been working up a sweat and then eating heaping portions of spaghetti and garlic bread, cheesecake and root beer floats. You are exercising every day – why oh why aren’t you losing weight or feeling better?

Hope alone is not enough.

Frustrated, you give up. Really, what’s the point of sweating to death if it doesn’t change your body? It’s been weeks, and your fancy new machine is now gathering dust and drying laundry.

Hope is not a coat rack.

You had such big dreams, watching those models smiling into the camera – perhaps it was the machine itself? Perhaps if you got a weight machine or one of those crunch chairs? Oh, what’s the use? You flick through the channels and balance a beer on your ever-growing, bowling-ball shaped belly.

Hope is useless if you don’t keep moving!

We’ve been hearing a lot about hope and change these past couple of years. Without going political, I must say that I’ve been frustrated at the general mindset of those around me no matter their affiliation. Hope is groovy, but then what? Change is great – but only if it’s for the good, you do it yourself and keep at it. Going back to same-old, same-old is like never changing at all. Complaining about what is or isn’t while you do nothing is a waste of my time and yours. So is depending on others to do it for you!

Like Ghandi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” That means getting off your duff and doing something yourself!!

What are your goals? Dream big – but then stop your complaining and wishing and actually start working towards those dreams. What’s the use of hope if you don’t do something with it?

Hope is only the starting point!

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