I think we all have a fitness journey. You know, something that inspired us, or scared us, into taking those first steps towards health. I wouldn’t necessarily say that there was an event that pushed me into making fitness part of my life, but the motivation behind it has changed over the years.
I was always an active child growing up… softball, ice skating, volleyball… and then in high school I made a switch to golf… not much activity there (although I would argue that walking the course does take some work…). So I decided to join a gym. It was then that fitness became a part of my lifestyle. I would use the gym as a way to release on a frustrating day, or to study (note cards and class notes were easily reviewable on a stationary bike). This pattern continued into college… although I believe that fitness in college was mainly about looking good and burning off those cranberry vodkas from the night before. Post graduation, I discovered my love of running, and as I moved through graduate school found it to be an outlet for late night study sessions and the stress of “What am I going to do after I graduate?” I fell in love with the challenge of pushing my body to train for a half marathon. After a back injury forced me to explore alternative fitness options, spin became a close second to running, and weight training helped me feel stronger.
Becoming pregnant really challenged that routine. I found that I wasn’t feeling as challenged as I did before, and to be quite honest, it created a few tears. As I started to evaluate and explore why I was so frustrated, I began to realize the significance of fitness in my life. For so long I had assumed it was merely a means to look good, balance out those itsy bitsy indulgences, and to blow off steam. Yet, I began to realize that it was a source of inspiration for me. Being alone with my thoughts allowed me to reflect, brainstorm, and become inspired. The changes pregnancy placed on my fitness journey, led me to reflect that fitness is about the challenge, helping me to feel healthy, and providing me with a sense of accomplishment. Having reassessed the place fitness filled for me, allowed me to become okay with my modified work-outs, but also challenged me to think of a “challenging” work-out in a different light.
Enter our most recent hikes. All hikes I have done in the past, typically without an ounce of struggle. We began to revisit these old favorites, and as I did, I realized they were now a challenge for me (and I was okay with that :)). They were exactly what I was needing. These hikes have allowed me to set a goal for the day, work through the ups and downs in a workout, and feel accomplished at the end!
All that being said, I firmly believe that fitness is a journey. One that we have different relationships with at different times in our life. I’ve found a few little tips to help me make it a permanent fixture in my life:
1. I begin my day with a workout. It’s a part of my routine. It wakes me up, gives me the energy I need throughout the day, and means I can relax on the couch at night.
2. I try to look at my workouts as small little ways of extending my life… and now, as extending my time with the little family I am about to have.
3. When I need a little inspiration, I buy a new workout outfit. Looking good and working out don’t have to be mutually exclusive. If that’s not in the budget, put together a motivational playlist.
4. I try to bring a social aspect to fitness. Whether that be a hike with friends or family, or a morning run with TJ, doing it with someone else keeps me motivate… and makes it fun. Also, the fist pump TJ and I give each other at the end of the workout is pretty awesome 🙂
5. On those days when I am just not feeling it, I commit to at least 5 minutes. Never have I stopped after 5 minutes because I have ended up feeling energized and motivated to continue.
I’ve also found a few quotes to be particularly inspiring over the years and thought I would share a few with you! Hope you find some fit-spiration in them.
“It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable” ~ Socraties
“Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it.”
“A one hour workout is 4% of your day. No excuses.”
“Difficult doesn’t mean impossible. It simply means you have to work hard.”
“Think of your workouts as important meetings you have scheduled with yourself. Bosses don’t cancel.”
“Fitness isn’t a punishment; it’s a blessing. Nutrition isn’t restrictive; it’s healing. Health isn’t a one-size fits all thing and may not look the same for everyone. But it is something worth fighting for.”