I’ve been on my own personal fitness journey now for 12 years. I was not the child that played any extracurricular sports, nor was I very active as a teenager (I really liked my Nintendo 64 as well as the internet!).
After I graduated from school, I decided that I wanted to be truly comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t want to feel self-conscious in a bikini. I didn’t want to feel like I needed to always suck in my belly. I wanted to be happy in my body. I wanted to feel strong.
So, I began with a gym membership. A friend showed me how to lift weights and I used the machines. I ran on the treadmill for cardio. I tried all of the things – BodyPump classes, spin classes, yoga classes.
Then I got into running outside in 2010. I had done my first 5k and had a blast. I wondered if I could do an 8k, then a 10k, then a half-marathon, then a marathon, then an ultra-marathon, then a triathlon. I was finding such joy in seeing what I could train my body to do.
Maintaining an exercise and fitness routine from 2012-2014 helped me to positively work through a divorce. My exercise time became my meditation time, and it was therapy to me. I also picked up a yoga practice in the same timeframe, which also helped my mental and emotional state (and swings).
Throughout the past 5 years, my interest has waxed and waned, and I’ve found that to be very normal. I’ve learned to listen to my body, like in the beginning of 2015, when my Achilles tendon was achy and sore, and caused me to draw back on the running I had been doing.
The beauty is that there are so many ways to be active and have a healthy lifestyle. Our interests and what we enjoy may change throughout the years, or even the months. And I’ve learned, that is OKAY. It is normal and it actually also keeps us balanced.
Picking up different exercise styles and routines when we encounter a transition of sorts in life can be a very helpful way to process the changes.
My advice is to find what makes you feel good and do that. (Sometimes it doesn’t “feel good” in the moment, but does afterwards, that is something to consider, as well).
Whatever you do, just keep moving.