I don’t know about you, but I never thought I would enjoy exercising. Growing up I was the kid who LOVED reading books, watching movies, and writing. Exercise and sports were something my sister did. When I joined Weight Watchers at 24, I was shocked by the number of people I met that seemed to enjoy exercising. Besides the Pilates sessions my sister and I took together, I didn’t think there would be any form of exercise I truly enjoyed. That’s when my Pilates Instructor, Gloria Reyes, challenged me to try running. In all honesty, I thought she was crazy for thinking I could run. I was 240 lbs, morbidly obese, and really out of shape. With a lot of grumbling on my part, Gloria convinced me just to try a few of her running training sessions.

Becca Klippenes & Gloria Reyes at the Healdsburg Half Marathon in 2008

Let’s just say I learned to eat my words. When Gloria broke down the basic techniques of running into manageble steps, I found I enjoyed running. It made me feel strong and accomplished. After learning to enjoy both Pilates and running, I decided to give other forms of exercise a second chance. So, I signed up for a gym membership at a local gym and tried every fitness class they offered. Here are the lessons I learned while taking all these classes.

  1. Keep an open mind. You could be surprised about the things you enjoy. I found out very quickly that I hated cycling and spin classes. But I loved strength training using a TRX & free weights, swimming and yoga.
  2. If there’s an element of fun included in exercise, I’m more likely to stick with it. As a little girl, I loved swimming because it made me feel weightless. I found I still loved swimming as an adult and could get myself to the pool to exercise easily.
  3. Never underestimate the power of exercise that challenges you to your core. Running was my challenger. When I was given the tools to run successfully, it helped me challenge the many false messages I had about my body and exercise. Because it was mentally and physically challenging, running taught me perserverance, committment and to never quit.

During these last few weeks of the summer, I encourage you to take the time to find the fun in fitness. Change up your exercise routine, add a new class, and challenge yourself to try something new. You never know what you’ll end up loving!


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