About the Author

Aliza Latta is a Canadian writer, journalist, and artist, who is a huge fan of telling stories. She writes about faith and young adulthood on her blog alizalatta.com, and is the author of the novel Come Find Me, Sage Parker. Find her on Instagram as @alizalatta.

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  1. Aliza,
    I chuckled my way through your description of the gym. Gyms do that to me too…and the mirrors…I could do without being reminded of my rounded self covered in sweat lol. I applaud your effort to take care of God’s temple!! I’ll be cheering you on from my recliner πŸ™‚

    Seriously, I loved the line, “…my life….is a rhythmic journey set to the tune of grace.” Amen! On everything we set our hearts on doing, we will crash and fail at some point. We will fail weekly or we may fail hourly. The fact remains that we NEED God’s grace. Otherwise self condemnation sneaks in and, well, that’s a losing battle. Each of us will figuratively “fall off the treadmill”, but God is right there picking us up, dusting us off and gently urging us to try again. I need to realize that any goals I set are emphasizing “I” . I need to remember that it’s only in HIS strength that I will be able to accomplish anything…without him I can do nothing. Train on sister warrior!!
    Blessings and Happy New Year!
    Bev xx

  2. You don’t have to be a gym newbie to feel a little discouraged. I am a grizzled veteran and feeling pretty down after yesterday. My clean eating plan derailed even though I control what I put in my face. My other non-fittness related goals feel stalled in 2nd gear. So I sat in the quiet and decided to begin again. Grace for the day, grace for the way. Pray through everything.

  3. Oh, I have been there many times! And I have a treadmill at home, given to me by a relative wwho, unfortunately, lost his house and has no place to keep it. Great for me? Well, it sits in a back room with no heat in the winter, so at 6:30 am in bathrobe and mittens I am there for 15 min. Better than nothing. And iin the summer I literally went flying off of it while in motion, yes, doing something totally stupid! Jesus is the beginning of all things and every moment we can start in a new place. Keep our eyes on the grace of God. Beautiful, encouraging words. Thank you.

    • Haha, Mary that is too funny. I’m picturing the mittens & bathrobe! “Jesus is the beginning of all things…” those words are so, so true.

  4. Ha! Least athletic person in the U.S. here! Glad to meet my Canadian counterpart!
    Thanks for this clear-eyed invitation into a new year of trusting God for grace to step into the hard things without quitting and to take his mercy each day, one measured and beloved inhale and exhale at a time.

  5. I felt like you wrote this for me.
    New year’s day, I did o.k. Yesterday I ate two pieces of candy and felt like I had failed for the year. Thank you for reminding me that every moment we can begin again.
    Blessings to you in the new year.

  6. A thousand times this: “I set a goal. There is grace. I fail. There is grace. I try again. There is grace.”
    I have to chuckle though because I think every woman on the planet has had that gym experience. So thankful Jesus loves me, regardless of the size of my gym pants. πŸ™‚

  7. We need this motto everyday- in the beginning and in the tried and true. “Set a goal. There is grace. I fail. There is grace. I try again. There is grace.” I am SO thankful there is grace. For all the things and especially where I am doing something and people are watching (like everything I do). πŸ™‚ loved this message.

  8. This would be me if I made a gym resolution this year, haha! So familiar. I have long tended the opposite way- not setting a goal because I knew I’d fail. The Lord is teaching me about bravery lately- and this year’s word I’m focusing on is courage! Thanks for bringing grace to the table alongside courage and commitment πŸ™‚ I hope those endorphins kick in and the Lord’s grace astounds you in this lifelong thing we’re doing!

  9. Day one is THE hardest. Heck, walking in in day one is the hardest! It gets easier! And then there’s grace. You are not alone!

  10. So enjoyed your post. I wasn’t even sure how to turn on the treadmill and then what do I do I to get off? As for the other equipment in the gym….even less of a clue. Lol

    I really liked
    “Recognizing that my life doesn’t need to be a structured, rigid routine (although there is a time and place for that) but instead a rhythmic journey set to the tune of grace, provides me freedom.

    I set a goal. There is grace.

    I fail. There is grace.

    I try again. There is grace.”

    Thank you.
    From another Canadian girl begin grace.

  11. Absolutely (just like everyone else that read it, it seems) what I needed to hear today! I’ve spent so much time planning my goals, setting up all the reasons how and why I will do each of these things, that I’ve overwhelmed myself into a frozen state of inactivity~ and I sigh. Then I read the “there is grace” and I felt like I can do it after all, just need to give myself a little grace….
    Thank you!

  12. I have learned that not all endorphins are created equal, I experienced the same thing where they just don’t do much for me, back in the 80’s when I took an aerobics class for 12 weeks, leg warmers and all and that whole endorphin hype never happened. They still haven’t kicked in, but I sure enjoy a good long walk in the wide open spaces of a walking trail close to my home.

    And for this new year, I am glad for God’s grace each new day!

  13. This is exactly what the Lord has been talking to me about this week… I love it when He sends me the same message through several vessels. It makes me realize how He is working in and through all of us… that it is truly His message! I hope that encourages you as well, to know the Holy Spirit is using you mightily! Thank you!

  14. This was an interesting article. And it’s nice to know that you don’t have to have a “January, or new year, or new school year, to have a clean sleight.
    As far as the gym, check out this website: nomoreexcusesgetfit.com, I’m just a high school student, but the website might encourage you.

  15. Aliza, your words always encourage me! Gyms terrify me. I lose the ability to think, much less read, when I’m there. (Diagram? What’s a diagram?!) I work out from the privacy of my home. (Curtains, people, curtains!) And while I’m not happy you have the same struggle, I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one to experience endorphin-ellusion. (If that’s even a thing?) Aliza, I love all the encouragement you give! Thank you so much! (From the girl that hated gym class all her life.)

    • Oh, this made me smile ! Never a gym class fan myself, I took ballroom dancing the semester the gym teacher taught it so I could get gym class credit! (And yes I still have two left feet, but at least I had fun!)

  16. What a blessing! Thank you for that timely and familiar post! Familiar – because I, too, am the most un-athletic person I know! Timely – because I too, joined a gym January 2015. That gym was 2 miles from work – very convenient, right? Needless to say, I never went after the initial rosy glow of enthusiasm wore off…..and to top it off, I lost my job about 3 months after joining! I went by and explained my situation to the “athletic, bouncy pony-tailed girl” at the front desk….she was so sorry…would I like to freeze my membership? Freeze my membership on a gym I never used, but was having monthly deductions taken from my checking account?!!Since she would not work with me and cancel my membership (I signed a CONTRACT, she explained. We just can’t cancel a signed CONTRACT!), I said yes, let’s freeze it! 6 months later, I had a new job and “UNFROZE” the contract, continued to pay until my 12 month membership was paid off and put that in my “Lessons Learned” file! Grace! What a wonderful thing! Be blessed today!

  17. Just wanted to encourage you for a bit, so here I am!
    In high school, I was insecure and way too selfconscious to enjoy gym or any physical activity. I enjoyed the feeling of fitness I gained afterwards, though! So I’m happy to tell you I did turn into a “gym person” in high school. Just not the gym you might expect… I discovered running, and winter or summer, rain or hail: I force myself to go for a short run outside, at least one time a week! It’s great activity, very rewarding, and, by now, very easy to commit to. I convince myself that everyone staring at me is secretly wishing they were working out too!
    I hope and wish that you will find your favorite activity as well! Good luck!

  18. This Georgia peach could jazzercise with the best of them in the 80’s, I hope to get that place again. The key for me was never diet or exercise, but knowing Jesus was helping me, staying in His love, joy and peace. I went through some difficult times and that jazzy girl was gone. I had to learn to rest in Him again.

  19. About the gym….one way I found “success” was to schedule off days. It helped me SO much to know I wasn’t expecting myself to work out every day and that I would get a break. I would tell myself…”If I go today, then I don’t have to go tomorrow! ” πŸ™‚ Amazing how it became my own little pep talk! πŸ™‚

  20. From someone who’s been to a gym before, take it from me: You do get to the stage where it feels good afterwards. I don’t know how often you go, but even going twice a week like I did, give it a couple of months and I think you’ll see a result.

  21. Thank you so much!! I’ve read this twice today and plan to make some sticky notes of things that really helped me!! Mine isn’t about the gym (oh it should be!), but it’s about making a change that will help my heart to heal. Thank you so much for this!! Thank you!!

  22. I love it that we can’t fail with Jesus because of grace! I feel like I fail at being a wife all the time, but at least Jesus doesn’t think so. That keeps me going.

  23. Aliza,

    This was so encouraging! Thank you and many blessings to you! P.S. I am laughing and it felt good to read such truth.

  24. Aliza,

    Congratulations on joining the gym and working on God’s temple! I like the idea of January being a clean slate. Plans are made for a “wonderful” year full of doing this or that. Then life happens and you “fall off the treadmill”. Here it is January once again. A time for retrospective and restart. ‘Jesus is teaching me that, with Him, each day – each moment – is a clean slate. Halleluiah! Thankful He allows us to start over again and again! Without His mercy and grace we would all be in trouble! We wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything.

    Have a blessed 2017! πŸ™‚