I watched her glide across the treadmill at speeds so fast my feet couldn't comprehend it. Her run was effortless, as if she were simply a cloud floating through the sky. Like Bambi leaping through a fitness equipment forest.
Her run featured not one but two treadmills running side-by-side, both at dizzying paces. Without even a minute of warm-up she jumped onto the first treadmill. After a few minutes at 6.2 miles per hour the runner made her leap from treadmill one to treadmill two. Even at 7 miles per our she didn't look the least bit phased. Quite the opposite actually. The runner seemed to be relishing in the ease of the pace.
For the next twenty minutes the running goddess hopped from treadmill to treadmill. By the end of her performance I had nicknamed her the Gym Gazelle and was in complete awe. Not only had she run at draw-dropping speeds for miles, she did it while jumping between moving treadmills and without ever breaking a sweat!
Gym Gazelle jumped off her treadmill, grabbed her bag and went trotting out of the gym with a radiating glow of endorphins. As I watched her leave a case of gym jealousy set in. How did her legs do that? I wondered. I marveled at how her muscles could work so powerfully for miles without legs flaring or knees buckling. I asked myself how could she jump from side-to-side without falling? How did her lungs not fatigue and her eyes not go all blurry from the competition paced speed?
In the Gym Gazelle's beautiful run I saw the physicality I wish I had. I coveted her perfect form and smooth stride. I wanted the muscles in her legs, her strength and even her stability. I wanted the lungs and stamina that were propelling her forward. I wanted the body that could do what she could do.
As jealousy descended on me like a dark shadow, a glimmer of light shined through. Don't be jealous, be motivated.
In that moment of revelation I realized that envying the Gym Gazelle would never increase my strength, speed or stamina. Coveting had no benefit for my body and certainly wasn't doing my heart any good. My jealousy only poisoned my spirit and sapped me of the desire to live fully in the body God has given me.
That simple revelation changed my attitude and heart. I suddenly saw the Gym Gazelle's performance in a whole new light. Envy disappeared as the Gym Gazelle was transformed into an image of the strength God can empower in the human body. Instead of her run producing pangs of jealousy her performance produced springs of inspiration. The Gym Gazelle was a gift of encouragement running on a treadmill and wink from God cheering me on to run (or walk) every mile of my race with His limitless strength and everlasting joy!