In my teenage years, I was all over the place. Literally, I was part of the kickball team, cheerleading squad, had a short-lived career in soccer, and was part of a professional ballet company. To say I was into fitness was an understatement. It was my lifestyle. As I moved into my 20s, my fitness was only ballet, and I made my small career as a dancer during those golden years.
Yet somehow, moving to a different country, finding a full-time job, and getting married derailed my fitness personality. I now spend 8+ hours of my day, well, sitting.
The Beginning of My Fitness Journey
Last year, my partner and I decided it was time to get back to our fitness-driven lifestyle. Not just for our physical appearance, but for our mental health as well. So, we started going to our local gym every other day. Here’s a fun fact about me – I hate gyms – and I’m that person that looks disoriented in a gym setting.
Nonetheless, I kept going to the gym with my partner, even when I hated it deep within my soul. Because not every fitness journey is a comfortable one, I kept telling myself.
Finding What Worked for Me
After a few weeks, it was apparent the gym wasn’t going to turn me into a fitness person. If anything, it was making me anti-fitness. But I liked how I felt after exercising, so I started to look into my options.
My first trial was YouTube fitness videos. Every night after work, I’d get dressed as if I was going to a gym, turned on my smart TV, chose a fitness video, and got to it. What did I find? Fitness videos set in a group class scenario better fit my fitness style than solo trips to the gym. I was finally getting closer to something that worked for me.
But, the problem with fitness videos is that these are on-demand services. You need to find the motivation to turn on the TV, and because you don’t have to leave your house to go anywhere, finding that motivation can be a challenge.
So, I kept on looking.
My Fitness-Loving Journey
The fitness videos kept me going for a while, but I knew I needed something more. Suddenly, the magic of social media happened for me, and I saw an app that offers access to different fitness studios that offer everything from yoga to intense boot camp workouts. It was a free trial, so I had no excuse.
First 5 Days
Keep in mind, my first class was November 26th, yes two days before Thanksgiving, that’s how determined I was to make this work. To make sure I didn’t stumble upon anything that would immediately scare me off, I signed up for a Pilates class, something I was familiar with.
The class was a success – I was the only one there, but it was a success for me.
For the next couple of days, I went to a core-intense class, a Zumba dance lesson, and an unheated Vinyasa class. I was hooked. Suddenly I was trying new fitness routines outside of my comfort zone, and that kept things interesting.
Close to 10 Days
From there, I was feeling more confident in my choice of classes. So, I put down my name for an indoor cycling class, a Yin yoga class, and a barre class to remind myself of my ballerina days. Without noticing it, I was working out three times a week without missing a class.
Pushing Myself on the 20 Days Mark
The great thing about the app is that I keep looking at my accomplishments. I received an email when I hit my first 3-week streak, and that I had taken 10 classes already. Those are small wins worth celebrating if you ask me.
I knew it was time to push the envelope even more if this was indeed going to turn me into a fitness-loving person. Instead of another Pilates class, I enrolled in a HIIT-style, circuit-based workout. On that day, I worked my body beyond its limits, to the point that I didn’t even realize I was lifting twice as much weight as I’d typically do. Suddenly, I realized these classes were helping my self-esteem and giving me more confidence.
Reaching the 30 Days Goal
From the very beginning, because this was a month trial, I gave myself 30 days to either become a fitness-loving person or realize that maybe I wasn’t cut out for it. To my surprise, I was talking to my coworkers about my upcoming workout sessions with excitement.
I stopped second-guessing myself as to the types of activities I’d sign up for, I even went to a military-style Bootcamp – me, a ballerina – the most rewarding part of that class was listening to the instructor say, “I underestimated you, great job!”
The truth is, I underestimated myself before signing up for this personal challenge. Today, I view my rookie achievements with great pride, as they’re my achievements. Now, you could say I’m a fitness-loving person spreading the benefits of finding what works for you versus what others say fitness looks like.
My journey reconnecting with fitness keeps evolving – I’m going to a hot Vinyasa class tonight, and I have a cardio-intense workout tomorrow. I want to leave you with this: your journey is yours, listen to what your body and spirit say and follow that inner voice, most of the time it’s right.