As a kid growing up, I stayed away from sports. I was uncoordinated and awkward. Instead of running towards the ball in 4th grade soccer, I ran away. I sat in the dirt and dug holes during t-ball games, and was generally picked last for any team sports. In middle school I found my niche in the music and theater scene. From there on out stayed clear of anything to do with athletics.
I always equated fitness with sports- so because I wasn’t great at sports, therefore I couldn’t belong in a gym.
the gym was a place of intimidating unknowns.
Fast forward to my early twenties. After college and then 8 months on an international mission field, I returned home at my highest weight. I was frustrated that I didn’t know how to get fit.
My mom invited me to try out some classes with her at Girlfriends Fit Club. First off, I never would have agreed had it not been an all women’s gym. I was embarrassed that I barely knew how to work a treadmill much less any of the weight training machines. Going was uncomfortable at first. But the more I went to classes, the more I grew to love moving my body and pushing it’s athletic limits. At 22 years old, I started to get serious about caring for my body in exercise.
Hand me a basketball and I’d freeze; put me in a class of encouraging women following an approachable instructor- I thrived.
Quickly the community at the gym ceased to become intimidating. Working out became a part of my daily routine in the years that followed. I enjoyed getting a good sweat in before a long day in the office. When I got engaged to be married, I was determined to fit perfectly in that white Vera Wang dream dress and pushed myself at the gym even more.
My fitness journey then followed me through early marriage and pregnancy- I was terrified about all the unknowns of how my body would change, but I was determined to stay as fit as I could for myself and this precious gift of a child. I muddled my way through the 1st trimester nausea, burpee’d my way through the bliss of 2nd trimester, and waddled through the third trimester up until a few days before giving birth.
The initial postpartum recovery was a shock to my body, and I was forced to rest.
Knowing when to rest is just as an important aspect of ones fitness journey- this was a hard lesson for me.
Now postpartum I’m back in to full workouts, and re-learning what physical limits my body is capable of, careful not to push to hard.
Through all of these seasons, my gym been a consistent, accessible place for me to get moving.
There’s something empowering about having a space that invites you to be fully present in your fitness journey.
When I step into the gym, I can shift my mind towards a good sweat and focus on the workout.
In the end, the key to sticking with a healthy fitness lifestyle is finding a type of workout that you love. (Or at least hate less than others).
I am not a fan of running; i doubt you’ll ever see me line up for a 5k. But I love a good tabata sweat session. Sports aren’t my thing- but barre, yoga, weight lifting, get me excited. I am thankful that there are such diverse options at my gym.
Some days I walk in dreading a workout and a million excuses creep in. Usually by the end of that workout I feel great- heart full, body tired, mind renewed. But there are days that I never get past the slump and it’s a victory to just muddle through. And you know what? That’s OK. The point is, get moving and find what works for you.
If there’s something about going to a gym that’s holding you back, consider this an invitation from one non-sporty girl to another. Give it a try. You might just be surprised.
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See this post on Girlfriends Fit Club’s blog!
Read more on “Body Image, Imperfections, and the Gospel”