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Reaching deep down

By Debbie Olujobi

Exercise is a necessity to keep our bodies in good shape; my yoga coach is quick to remind me that the body is a rogue that can only be controlled with discipline and constant training. In a perfect world; I would be able to eat anything and everything at anytime without gaining weight but I know for a fact that it is not a perfect world as my ever growing population of cellulite will  attest.

My physical well being is greatly improved when I exercise regularly. I find that some forms of exercise can be excruciatingly painful,  especially those that target the abdominal walls and the gluts and the pain intensifies the more we count down.

A 100 stomach crunches is not a big deal when you are nearing 20 but most faces will contort  in pain when you are counting up to 80 and it’s then you have to reach deep down for strength to push through the pain and get to 100. I have learnt to ignore my pain in those trying minutes and just keep going. It is always a surprise to find that I can actually do what I I don’t believe I am strong enough to do; there is a always an extra reservoir of strength if we just reach deep down.

There have been many instances where I have felt I just couldn’t bear pain anymore and been very tempted to give up. Pain while exercising is a choice but life doesn’t always happen by choice. Emotional, spiritual and even physical pain is foisted on us by circumstances and our survival can often depend on our ability to reach deep down for strength to fight our way back to health, mentally and physically.

The worldwide recession hit Nigerian shores like a tidal wave and other disasters both natural and man-made means most of us are battle weary. I almost cant believe that this year is almost over and it feels like very little has been achieved by a majority of people.

I actually believe at times like this our attention should be focussed on surviving the times. For most people the pain is like the 70th crunch when you have given yourself a goal of 150 stomach crunches. Giving up is not an option as our lives are linked to that of others, so pushing through pain seems like the only prescription available.

It’s all well and good to prescribe reaching deep down for a reservoir of strength but it is cold comfort to people facing harsh realities of weak finances and failing health. That’s the added reality most people are combatting!! Along with the economic downturn; stress has taken a toll on most people and their healths are suffering.

It’s a sad fact 60-80% of all diseases and illnesses can be traced to stress of some sort and most of us are not sure there is any strength left to reach deep down for. There are many mornings I ask myself what next? It’s normal for me, I have been an entrepreneur for close to 20 years so stress has become part of my routine. The life of of an entrepreneur is one of dodges and misses and if one is not careful or resilient; failure is just a breath away.

Lately I am hearing just one statement from a majority people; if truth be told I have said it myself a few times this year. “I am tired”, seems to be the chorus we are all mournfully singing. I sympathise with everyone who feels that way, I have days like that and I have described the present reality as a never ending marathon that goes on and on! It seems we all need a break; I would personally settle for some peace and more liquidity in the financial system.

Mopping liquidity to cover excesses for crooked elections seem a nail in the coffin of the already dying masses. So what next? Can I honestly expect anyone to reach deep down for any strength? How do I even know they have not even scraped the barrel of the strength reservoir?

Many questions indeed and they all have one answer; yes!! Oh yes is my emphatic answer! I can tell you all and myself included to reach even deeper for strength. We don’t always feel strong but we are built to survive and survive we will. At times like this we all need spiritual strength to gain physical and emotional power. The element of faith counts more than anything in bleak situations and that may even be the key to our collective survival corporately and individually.

I am not happy with the state of my nation and I am relying on my faith not reality that things will get better. I reach deep down with prayer; I ask God daily for the strength to put one foot ahead of the other and keep standing. I know one such person who needs a break; a reason to just keep holding on.

To a very special person; a sister and a friend, I say hold on. I send my prayers and encouragement and remind you that the tide never stays out at sea; it comes back. To the rest of us who are battered and discouraged I end with David’s encouragement to himself in Psalm 30:5 (the bottom part). “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning”


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