It’s been a while since I talked about fitness here. For a while I was all about it. (Have you been around since then? I love you.) I’d found a fitness program I loved, discovered a way of eating that made my super sensitive body happy and was reaping the benefits of these healthier lifestyle choices.
Then there was a sudden job change, lots of stress, tons of coffee and that lifestyle went out the window.
In the five years since that happened, I’ve struggled a lot with fitness, mostly with finding something sustainable.
I enjoyed running (which is a far cry from how much I hated it when I got married … to a runner). However, I’m a picky runner and won’t go if it’s too hot or too cold, which in Central Oregon means a few days in the Spring and Fall. So yeah …
Yoga was fun, but the classes at the studio just didn’t fit in well with my schedule – they were quite long and happened when I was either teaching kids (back when we were home schooling) or making dinner.
Thankfully, though, I found some great at-home yoga resources and slowly, slowly created a somewhat consistent yoga practice (I could touch my toes and do a headstand!). That combined with walking 10,000 steps a day and the occasional run kept me feeling pretty alright.
About 18 months ago, though, I felt the need for something more. After a lot of reflecting (and trying to deny its truth because it would mean more work and commitment) I realized that my body has always been happier with regular, intense exercise.
And the less active I was, the achier and grumpier I got.
Well, at least, for my husband. After trying an introductory class and loving it, I encouraged him to try one, too. He liked it and began going on a regular basis. I chickened out.
I was afraid. I knew the workouts were intense, my husband would tell me about them and I would scoff at how crazy-hard they sounded. But mostly I was afraid of the people. What if they were mean? What would they say when I would inevitably finished last? How on earth would I keep up?
Eventually, though, my desire to be more active was stronger than my fear of what might happen.
Almost a year after that introductory class, I asked him to tell the coach that I wanted to sign up. Our box (the gym is called a box in CrossFit) offers six one-on-one onboarding sessions to teach proper movement so you don’t get hurt and after just two of those sessions I was so. sore. I made it through, though, and was released into the wild. Ok, I was cleared to start attending the normal classes.
I showed up to my first class terrified.
My husband was there, along with a handful of women (a lot of the members are moms). I remember the workout was strength-focused and these ladies were lifting some heavy weights. My husband had told me the ladies he worked out were incredible and he was right.
My coach had me scale to an appropriate weight for my fitness level and, scared as I was, I did it. And those scary ladies cheered me on.
I walked out of the box feeling amazing. Tired, but amazing. It reminded me a lot of the times I’d given birth – that feeling of not knowing how I was going to do it but feeling so empowered because I faced it and didn’t give up.
I was hooked.
That was nine months ago. Since then, I’ve been working out five days a week and loving it. I’ve gotten stronger, lost a good amount of fat and re-focused on eating what makes my body feel good.
I’ve discovered I love weight-lifting and that burpees actually do get easier over time, as much as I insisted they wouldn’t.
Most of all, I’ve seen that when I set my mind to something, my determination keeps me going and nothing will stop me. Nothing. Even when a workout triggers an emotional response and I just want to throw down my bar and walk out. I keep going and those wonderful people are there cheering me on.
All I have to do is show up.