Sweat and Sacred Sunrise
by Leslie McLeod
When I head out to the gym in the morning, the sky is still dark, the stars fighting for the last word with the approaching dawn.
I don’t really like to exercise, but I like the feeling a good workout gives me. So I crawl out of bed, swap PJs for yoga pants and a sweatshirt, then drive half-awake to my small group training session, just 10 minutes away.
When I’m running late, I can usually grab a corner space among all the other women focused on their fitness.
But a secret reward awaits me when I show up early.
I get to claim my favorite spot at the end of the corridor across from the gym’s east-facing front window. As we warm up and stretch, I watch as shades of deep indigo and gray gradually surrender to a spectacular light show, a slow explosion of shimmering crimson and gold. The powerful beauty infuses my cardio with energy, my muscles with strength, my spirit with delight. Fiery brilliance of sunrise subsides, breathless, into gentle pastels…lilac, pink, coral. As we finish our workout, the sky settles on a hue barely blue, silhouetting the trees and street signs outside.
Working out is drudgery, no question. But for those few moments, my sweat has been sanctified by extravagant, fleeting glory. I tuck away the memory of this morning gift along with my water bottle and towel, then step out into the day with a hallelujah smile.
Living near the Southern California coast, Leslie’s artistic leanings balance her role as co-owner of a tech company with her husband. She picks up her pen again after a hiatus to raise their two children and develop a passion for painting. Having lost her parents a few years ago, she is writing a book to help other women walk through that painful season without the added burden of unresolved relationship regret. Leslie also writes articles, poetry, and a blog. She loves to share the voice of her soul’s Beloved. She writes and paints at www.lamcleod.com and you can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.