The Next Level is Always Uphill

Hills . .

They are often used as symbols of challenges, struggles, and impossibilities.

But are they?

A few weeks ago I challenged myself to a new level of fitness and training.  I have been an avid walker for over 25 years.  Most of that 25 years my normal walk is a very aggressive walk on a treadmill or outdoors.

I would rate myself as a 7 for treadmill experience.  My average walk over the last 25 years was 30-35 minutes.

A good daily walk has kept me in decent shape.  But in all actuality it has only enabled me to eat what I wanted in order to maintain my 210 pound slightly overweight frame.  So I was actually walking to simply eat whatever I chose to and not gain additional weight.

On my outdoor walking trail there is a certain hill.  I have always resisted this hill.  The reason so is it made me work harder than I cared to, caused my legs to burn, and my hips to ache.

OK, so I challenged myself to a new level of fitness that I have called “90 Days to Transformation.”  I decided to double my walk time, add weight training, jump roping, etc.

After 15 days of training I realized something remarkable was happening.  The hill was no longer a source of agitation to me.  In fact, I could not remember when I had noticed the hill last.

So here are my helpful hints for those of us that have hills in our lives.

1.  What once revealed your weakness now reveals your strength

I dreaded that hill because it revealed how weak I was, and it caused pain in my body.  I often wondered why did this hill have to be in my neighborhood?

Have you ever wanted something difficult out of your life or out of your way?  You see; I saw that hill as an enemy.

The Bible tells us that mountains in our way can be removed.  I wanted to remove this hill.

I wonder if hills and mountains are some of the things God uses to challenge us and to develop our faith?

I have seen God leave certain difficulties in my life to drive me toward a greater knowledge of Him and a greater potential of who I can be.

I am reminded of the saying; what does not kill you only makes you stronger.

On Day 15 of my transformation I was jogging on the hill and realized how strong I was and how the hill was not slowing me down. I  was suddenly keenly aware of a fresh strength in my body and my legs.  No burning, no slow down, and not really a strong observation that the hill was there.

All of the sudden I saw this hill in a different light.

2. Your hills do not have to be an obstacle but can become an opportunity.

There is a lot of talk about how to re-frame certain events, thoughts, or circumstances and turn them into opportunities.   Far too often we stumble over what we should easily step-over.  Learning to re-frame challenges is a key to overcoming life’s tragedies and struggles.

3.  Your most difficult struggle can become the most contributing factor to your new development.

On my latest jog I realized it was that hill that had been the most significant contributor of my new health development.

Have you allowed certain obstacles to keep you from reaching your greatest potential?

Do you need to re-frame some thoughts and challenges?

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About the author : Thomas McDaniels

Thomas McDaniels

Pastor Thomas hosts The Pastors Life Blog at He is the Founding and Lead Pastor at LifeBridge Christian Center in Longview, Texas. Pastor Thomas is an author, blogger, and an avid Twitter contributor. You can also connect with him at Twitter at

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