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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!