Lately, I have been dragging my butt out of bed early in the morning to make a 6:30am yoga sculpt class. I throw on my jacket, gloves & boots and brace for the cold to drive myself over to Boulder in the pitch black. I carry my mat into the hot room and prepare myself for the hour of sweating I am about to endure. As much as I want to stay in my cozy bed every morning, I never regret going. I love working out and have found it to be a beneficial part to coping with whatever life throws at me.
My passion for fitness began in college when the years of eating for comfort began to catch up to me. My college years were a bit messy, really my whole life has been messy, but in college I went out of state and did some transferring. Ultimately food was my companion to cope, which led me to some unwanted weight gain. I had always done some working out; mostly long runs on the treadmill followed by ab work. While I am sure that helped my weight not get out of control, it also never felt like something I cared to be doing. It wasn't until my college best friend and I decided to make our way to a CrossFit gym back in 2010 that my love for working out began. This was prior to the blow up of CrossFit and so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Almost immediately I fell in love! Since then I haven't turned back on fitness. It has been a constant among the messiness of life. It always makes me feel better and empowers me. Yet, fitness and I have had a hard time lately. It's not uncommon in relationships to hit a rough patch, but what matters most is working through it. Over the past 11 months, that is exactly what fitness and I have been doing. Mentally, I wanted to lift barbells above my head, squat lots of weight and have nice biceps. My body on the other hand wanted to stretch, move slowly and have a little less force placed on it. I would go to the gym to workout like I did pre-cancer and it constantly left me feeling unloved. I felt like I no longer belonged in a place that had become a second home to me. After much fighting, fitness and I finally came to an agreement. This was that my definition of working out needed to shift. It no longer needed to include constant stress on my body through weightlifting, but could be structured around yoga and pilates. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the occasional weightlifting day and miss those back muscles, but my primary movement pattern needed to change.
It isn't uncommon for there to be ebbs and flows in what you need to give your body, but the biggest thing to remember is to give yourself grace. Listen and trust yourself to know what you need. There will be days you want to call it quits to eat ice cream, binge on Netflix and hit up the Chick-Fil-A drive thru. Push past those temporary gratifications and stick with a fitness routine because it will help you maintain a thriving journey. Try customizing your definition of working out. This could be hiking, long walks, rock climbing, playing basketball, yoga, running or weightlifting. Don't get caught up in external or internal expectations, but instead do the movement that makes you feel your best. There is something out there for everyone nowadays! Take advantage of free trail periods at gyms to figure out what feels right. Explore and create a new habit of working out because a daily practice can be life changing in my experience!