I would really like to write a blog on how awesome I am. But for now let me keep it real.
This is about accountability.
It seems like over this past year the Lord has really used my fitness to show me the importance of accountability. Accountability: one of the big buzzwords among my Christian friends and bible study group these days.
As a running coach, I’m used to being the person with all of the answers in regards to running and cardio fitness. When I’m in 5K training season it’s not weird for me to interact with dozens of folks about their individual issues, concerns, and curiosities about running. And why not? I’m certified. I have a decent amount of marathons under my belt to be considered a credible source. On top of that I love running and I love talking to people about running.
But can I let you in on a secret? I’m not a fan of the gym. I don’t like leg day. I can’t stand core day. Burpees make me think bad thoughts and the only way I can survive plank position is by reciting Psalm 23 to myself. If I had my way, I would run all the time and only hit the gym sporadically. For two years I did just that.
Back in 2013, I took a fitness assessment with a highly respected exercise physiologist. She trains athletes around the country on all levels of fitness, including the competitive level. When it comes to running I most certainly view her as a trusted source.
After my assessment she informed me that I had weak glutes. Bummer. She recommended that I focus on strengthening my glutes because there is a muscle that runs alongside the leg (IT Band) that connects to the knee. She informed me that if I did not get my glutes in check I would eventually have knee problems. I heard everything she said and continued to avoid the gym.
I went two years without incorporating a consistent calesthenics routine or weight training program in my workout regimen and it began to show. Now a novice runner couldn’t tell my glutes were weak. However, to the trained eye, one would be able to tell after five minutes into a lower body workout my glutes were not worth two flies mashed together. Fast forward to 2015 and I began to experience serious knee pain anytime I ran over 5 miles. One day when demonstrating a squat to someone else my knees bent inward, which is a sign of weak glutes. Bummer, nothing had changed. I still had weak glutes.
For the sake of my health, my love for running, and desire to do things the right way, I got a personal trainer. Tawana of Texas Fit Chicks: Oak Cliff is the TRUTH! Do you know how humbling it is to tell a certified personal trainer “Hi, I’m a personal trainer and I need your help.” The first couple of months were more difficult on my ego than my body because I had to submit to the authority and instruction of my peer. But guess what? She knows her stuff and refuses to let me avoid the workouts I don’t care that much for. As a friend and fitness expert she knows if I avoid certain workouts I may feel better right now but over time I am doing more harm to myself by not addressing my weak areas.
Over time I noticed my knees aching less and less. Having someone hold me accountable in hitting those areas I don’t like to address makes a difference.
So what does weak glutes, a personal trainer, and knee pain have to do with my relationship with God? In life and in running there are things we just don’t like to address because they are uncomfortable, a bit painful, or we are weak in that area. For those of us in leadership roles our weaknesses can fly under the radar when we are not walking in full accountability with someone we trust. To the people we lead or manage we’re heroes. But everyone has a weakness, a stronghold, or area that needs to be nurtured, developed, strengthened, rehabbed, and sometimes straight up removed. Yes, sometimes we need to be called out on our mess in a loving way.
Does my existence rely solely on the encouragement of another person? No, of course not. But we see throughout God’s word where fellowship with like-minded people and holding those you fellowship with accountable is very key to living in victory.
Attention leaders, you are sailing in dangerous waters when you don’t have someone or some people in your circle of influence who will hold you accountable to wrestle with your weakness, investigate your fears, and tend to the unhealthy parts of you. On top of that you’re sailing in seriously dangerous waters when you do have accountability but refuse to listen.
The craziest thing about my glute issue is that I didn’t feel pain in my glutes. My weak glutes caused knee pain. My weakness in one area of my body manifested itself in another area of my body. This is where I suggest that if you are struggling with something, perhaps that real issue, weakness, or problem is not what you think it is. This is where taking heed to sound wisdom (the exercise physiologist) and having a support system to address those areas is really really important (Tawana).
God’s word is very clear about taking heed to wisdom and I suggest you join me in seeking God’s wisdom on how to deal with the issues of life as we walk in accountability with people we trust.
And for the record, Tawana keeps me doing planks. As a result, I know Psalm 23 frontwards and backwards. Ha!
In running and in life, run on.
Monisha “Coach Moe” Randolph is a certified running coach specializing in offering beginner running and walking classes in urban communities. To learn more about Coach Moe and her efforts to promote healthy living and healthy communities visit www.runnersrevelations.com.