"my fitness journey"
I didn’t grow up an athlete. This comes to quite a shock to my children. Logan has been playing soccer for seven years and currently trains up to six days a week. My daughter plays soccer and also takes gymnastics.
In college I went on “a run” with a sorority sister in which I huffed and puffed the entire time. This was definitely a one and done situation. I also attended an aerobics class where I did such a horrible job that the instructor fussed at me to keep up with the group. Again, this was a one and done experience. Sadly, that was the extent of my “working out” in college. The college gym terrified me. I had no clue how to use any of those machines and my friends that worked out seemed so comfortable going into the gym, as most had been athletes in highschool. I was completely intimidated.
After law school I started at a major national law firm, which was extremely stressful. A friend of mine at the firm, who grew up an athlete, convinced me to sign up for a couch to 10K program. In 2004, I ran my first 10K. During the first run of the 12 week program, I think I cursed the entire 5280 feet. My poor friend asked if we were still friends. I said I was bound and determined to complete the program but that there would be a lot of cussing along the way.
From 2004 through 2012, I would workout for a few months then go months without working out. I never worked out more than two to three days a week. While I was able to lose weight, I did not have any muscle tone, endurance or strength. During this time:
- I ran episodically but not consistently, with various running partners.
- I hired a personal trainer for a few months when I had reached my heaviest weight (outside of pregnancy) of my life.
- I took a few yoga classes at the YMCA but was absolutely horrible at it.
- I signed up for a half-marathon and dropped out after my first seven mile run.
- In 2007 I had my first child and in 2011 I had my second child, my “working out” during my pregnancies consisted of walks in the neighborhood.
From 2012 through 2013, I ran more consistently but nothing more than six miles. In 2013, I tried my first hot yoga class, which was so much different than the yoga classes I had previously taken, and although I fell in love with hot yoga, I did not go very consistently.
In the fall of 2014, I found a running partner that changed everything! We consistently ran three to four days a week. She forced me to wake up at 5:25 am to go for runs. THIS MADE ME INCREDIBLY MISERABLE. I was not a morning person. But I got up anyway because I enjoyed our runs. A few months into our running, I told my friend my desire to run a half marathon, she said “Well, let’s do it!” A few weeks before the half-marathon, Brooke said “Let’s sign up for the Richmond full marathon.” I told her she was absolutely crazy, there was no way I could run 26.1 miles. When Brooke had to miss one of our long training runs for the half-marathon, I found myself having to run 12 miles by myself. It was during this run that I decided that if I were ever going to try to run a full-marathon that the time was now since I was already half way there in my training. In the fall of 2014, I ran my first marathon and finished in under four hours. I cried like a baby.
In 2015 I moved to a new city. I found myself without a running partner and while I ran in my new city, it just wasn’t the same. My first few months I alternated between running and hot yoga but my consistency had fallen away, until a new friend Melissa invited me to sign up for a trial period at a new bootcamp gym that was opening in the neighborhood. When Melissa and I attended the open house for the new gym, the owner asked how many days were we going to commit to coming. Melissa said five days a week. I looked at her like she was crazy. I had never worked out more than four days a week. I fell in love with the boot camp classes and it changed how I looked at working out and free weights.
For the past three years, I have consistently exercised five to six days a week, alternating between lifting weights, running and hot yoga. I currently lift weights with a trainer that does small group classes and he has me lifting weights that I would never in a million years thought I would be lifting. I look back to that college girl that was intimidated by weights and wish I could tell her how strong she was and that there was nothing to be intimidated by.
Today, my outlook on exercise is not just about getting into those pair of skinny jeans but it is about the mental, emotional and physical benefits that come with exercise. I no longer feel guilty for taking this time for me because aside from the mental, emotional and physical benefits, I am setting a good example for my kids. While I have to wake up before most college kids have even gone to bed, I know that if I don’t get my workouts in early they are probably not going to happen.