Addiction

I just got home from exercising. I know what you are thinking (based on the title of my blog). . . “She is going to tell us that she is addicted to exercise.” NO WAY!!! I wish! Anyway. . . Susie was back today. Yeah! Class today was six stations each for 45 seconds. Move immediately to the next station. Repeat the set of six stations three times. Then new exercises for each station, repeat the set of six stations three times. And then one last set of new exercises for each station. . . you get the picture. None of the exercises were easy. Susie is a great encourager to keep going and she tells us we are doing great. For some reason when she gives us the “only ten seconds left. . . you can do it” pep talk, I feel the need to go ahead and quit! Odd huh?? We should be motivated to make the last ten seconds really count and instead I think, “whew – almost done – thank heavens.” I gotta work on that one. Let me say that I didn’t really quit early, but I WANTED to! Easy to see that I am not addicted to exercise.

Okay. . . Overachiever was not there today, but dude was there. His wife was upstairs working out. And I have to say that I feel bad. I talked to him today. We were at the same station at the same time. I asked him how he like Amy’s class on Monday and he said he really liked it. He mentioned that he got sick after the first class (which isn’t all that unusual). When I very first started in Jan ’07, I felt sick the entire first week after I went to class and I know several ladies who did throw up after that kind of intense workout. Anyway, he told me that he was a smoker and that the breathing was really hard for him. OOOOHHHHH – it was all making sense now. . . breathing hard, couldn’t finish rounds of 60 seconds. . . seemed exhausted. . . looking around all the time (which I took as “being there for the ladies”). I was really wrong about this guy. He’s not there for the ladies, which I am glad about, cause we are not the group of young, athletic hard bodied gals you might see at the Y at 5 a.m.

So, I said to him, “Dude. . . you gotta give up the smoking.” (yes-I called him “dude”) He said that he feels better after he works out and that it last about 3 hours and then he has a cup of coffee and just needs that cigarette. So, I challenged him today to try to make it 3 1/2 hours before he has one. He chuckled and said, “I’ll try that.” So, hopefully that encouraged him. Maybe he will start feeling so much better after exercising that he will give it up completely.

This brings me to two points. First, I’m sorry for poking fun at him. He really is trying. I assumed things (and you know what happens when you assume) that were not true. Now, I don’t know everything about dude, but I know enough. And oddly, I really feel like I need to pray for him. . . that he will be able to kick his nicotine addiction. Normally I don’t feel the need to pray for random people, so since I have a little urging to do so, I am going to. This is one of those little things in life where God might be telling us something and sometimes we just dismiss it, but because I am really trying to listen to God, I am going to choose to be obedient in this very small thing.

Second, let me speak just a moment to addictions. Addictions are VERY powerful. Especially chemical dependency – smoking, alcohol, drug – addictions. I have worked in the prevention field for 10 years. Trying to prevent kids from ever beginning to use tobacco, alcohol or drugs of any kind. When I see someone like “dude” who really wants to try and be healthy, even starts working out, but just can’t kick the habit of smoking, I am reminded that it is not just a bad habit, but dependency on a chemical to make him feel okay. I am so thankful that I am not addicted to any chemical substances. Many of us have “addictive” personalities. We know that we could very well be addicted to something if we let ourselves go there. Many addictions begin when teenagers begin using. You see, the brain is not fully developed until somewhere around the age of 20. The final one pound of our three pound brain develops during the teenage years (13-19). When someone puts highly addictive chemicals (nicotine, alcohol, any drug) into their body on a regular basis (daily or multiple times per day), especially at a young age, an addiction is formed to that substance. And oh, the battle to beat the addiction.

So, maybe you can join me in praying for “dude” that he will be able to kick his nicotine addiction. Or pray for someone you know that is struggling with addiction. It is a very real struggle. I’m hoping that I will be able to ask him next time how the smoking thing is going. When he left today, I pointed at him and said, “3 1/2 hours.” He said he’d work on it ! I’ll keep you posted! Happy Wednesday.

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One Response to “Addiction”

  1. Mandy LeMay Says:

    Oh sweet Amy- you gotta love the holy spirit. WOW! I loved this post. I will join you in prayer for ‘dude’ for sure, by my calculations- 3 1/2 hours would be right now!!! (Since yal started at 5am.) I needed the reminder of that I should be praying for someone very close to me who struggles with an addiction. I have actually never taken that approach but time and time again, preached on how bad it is. You don’t know how thrilling it is to find out when someone has quit something like that and you may have had a small roll in that. But it always comes back to the fact that they have to really want it… and their faith absolutely goes hand in hand with that. Do you have a scripture that goes along with addiction?
    God uses you in so many ways, and I love how you share it. Overachiever was probably barfing after she realized she didn’t need the extra weights after all. The nerve. Anyway, so proud of you for sticking with it!

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