The Thickest Wall in the Heart
Yes, I’m a wimp! I hit the Stairmaster at the Y yesterday because it was 88 degrees outside. I don’t know why. I am happy to ride when it’s 20 degrees out, but when it gets that hot, the wanna-be athlete inside me just melts. So I put on my happy face and went to the air-conditioned sanctuary for wanna-be athletes everywhere.
I was astounded by how “out of Y shape” I am! I couldn’t do the level of intervals on the Stairmaster that I could 3 months ago. But, I have an excuse for that too- I haven’t been to the Y in, well, almost 3 months! I’ve been riding for real. I thought a lot about my exhaustion and the “de-feet” I was suffering from that dreaded machine of torture. I took my pulse and realized I was riding pretty high and hadn’t even reached the max 162 steps per minute I was shooting for.
I kind of think it might be neat to read a lot more about heart zone training in order to really take a big step forward, but then I would need a heart monitor, a regular training schedule and commitments that I’m too much of a wimp to make, so I’m just not sure I’m that committed! So, instead of all of that, I decided just to read about the heart this morning. (That’s a good first step, right?!)
Here’s the most interesting thing I learned today-
“The left ventricle has the thickest wall of any other chamber in the heart and contracts more forcibly, forcing blood through the aortic semilunar valve and out to the body.”
Interesting. The thickest wall in the heart is the wall that propels oxygenated blood into your body through the main aortic artery.
Here’s what it got me thinking- If….the thickest wall in the heart is the wall that propels oxygenated blood into your body through the main aortic artery…then….in the same way, the thickest wall of our spiritual heart is that which propels our life force into the world with compassion, kindness and care for others. The strongest, thickest part of our heart/soul is that which moves us. It is that internally ignited impulse which propels us to respond to the needs of others.
That was the impulse I felt most on my 366 mile ride (now 2 weeks ago) for Habitat for Humanity. Several of those southern Indiana hills certainly got the heart rate moving. Trying to keep up with those Purdue Univ. bicycle team members was not an easy task (though I did beat the star to the destination on one day- I think he stopped to eat!). But, more important, were the reminders of why I was riding- meeting Habitat home owners, hearing about how kids raised funds, learning how and why families are selected in certain communities and knowing that I was helping move someone from poverty to home ownership in a fair and just way- that got the heart pumping too! I’m so glad that I know this fact about my heart now, because, well, it makes so much more sense to me now.
How thick is your left ventricle?
And how is the strength of your soul propelling you to reach out?