Last month, I started a new habit. One I absolutely despise but know that it is good for me. One that was born out of a desire to become stronger and maybe even healthier. Before you assume that I probably joined a gym or started running, you should know that I'm not the least bit athletic. I needed to start small. So I chose to start climbing the stairs every afternoon during my break.
The first day was by far the worst. By the fifth level (which equates with the 18th stack of stairs), I was pretty sure I was about to meet Jesus face to face. I wanted to bow out and take the elevator the rest of the way. But my climbing buddy forbade it. She urged me onward and upward.
The second day, I didn't have to stop. I didn't set any records, but I didn't mention the "elevator" word, which was a measure of success.
Then came the weekend, and no climbing. So Monday posed a new challenge of urging my muscles to remember that they had done this before and could do it again.
Each day since then, I've hoped it would get easier. So far, it hasn't. There's inevitably a place along the way when my leg muscles start to send the burning sensation to my brain, and my brain has to fire back that they can't stop until we've reached the top.
But the hope that one day it will get easier actually burns stronger than the burn in my muscles. It's what fuels me to climb the stairs each day, just to see if today's the day. Because I don't want to miss it.