Share this story

Nine and Counting

The Guideposts executive editor shares why change takes time and persistence.

On my jogs through the park I stop at the playground and lift myself off the ground on the high bar. It all started when I read a fitness magazine that suggested you do a series of 10 chin ups. “Yikes,” I exclaimed (not in those very words), “I can’t even do two.” But I started, one exhausting attempt after another, and in a couple of years—we’re talking years here—I got up to nine. Count ‘em, nine! 

Then I had heart surgery. The first day I went on my jog in the park a couple of months into my recovery, I reached up to the high bars in the playground and ugh, ouch, yuck, struggled to do one very sad pathetic chin up. “It’s not fair,” I exclaimed (in language even more colorful), “I worked so hard to get up to nine…and now I’m back at ground zero.” 

Insert here a heavenly voice: “Rick, you did nine…you’ll get back to nine…just keep at it.”

And so I have. Struggling, sweating, squirming, scowling, promising myself that it’s really too hard for a guy like me, I’ve kept at them. Today I have something to celebrate. I got back up to nine. Not a heroic, put-it in-a-magazine nine, but one set of nine it was. I don’t expect I’ll ever repeat it again, but I did it once.  

Personal change expert Ariane de Bonvoisin emphasizes how important it is to give yourself time when you’re making a change or trying to grow in any significant way. I can tell you from experience, that if you’re recovering from surgery and you’re not happy about your progress, give it a year. Give it more than a year. It’s been 16 months since my surgery, and I’m finally up to nine chin-ups.

In another year, I’ll go for 10.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

Share this story


Evenings with Jesus

End each day with a peaceful spirit with 100 beautiful devotions focused on helping you let go, rest in God’s grace and get a good night’s sleep.

PLUS, a FREE GIFT! Your guide to a good night’s rest, Bible verses, stories, and tips to settle in at the end of the day.

Read More and Order

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

Scroll to Top