26 Ramadhan 1436
Went down to the gym yesterday evening after breaking my fast feeling a considerable degree of trepidation. Just one week earlier I managed no more than 22 minutes on my regular elliptical trainer despite thinking that I was going to turn over my usual 30 minute target with ease. In fact, I had a strong sense of physical weakness on my way there last night and suspected I'd be lucky to manage 25 minutes. In the event I got to the 30 minute mark covering my usual distance, though I must say I thought I wouldn't make it for the first 15 minutes or so.
This wasn't a case of greater determination, by the way. I was determined enough last week, but had used all available energy by the time I got to the 20 minute mark. I suspect this was the result of taking in fairly frugal amounts of sustenance lately. Last night I just happened to have enough energy in store, though I know I couldn't have carried on any longer - I was trembling when I got off the trainer.
So what's my point? Simply that you find out a lot about yourself in more extreme situations and it helps develop a healthy sense of humility. If you're gifted with energy, that's great. But if not you need to exploit what you have to its best effect, and accept the reality of what your body can reasonably do - and then build on that if you can, if circumstances allow. It's a matter of learning to enjoy and exploit what you are gifted with and use the gift appropriately, positively, a bit like in Christ's parable of the talents - a story I never under understood in my teenage years, oddly enough.