Every once in a while I’ll write a post about fitness. Usually it’s a new work out I’m trying or how good it feels to pick up fitness as a hobby. But today I wanted to write about what’s made 2016 different than previous years. I’ve always been a fan of staying active and trying new things, but this year has felt intensely different.
I used to hate running, and sometimes still do. I’ll never forget earlier this year when my friend asked me to go on a run with her. I knew I was going to suck, but nothing prepared me for just how badly I would actually suck. I couldn’t run for longer than one minute at a time. Put me in a room with weights and I’ll kill it, put me outside and I’ll die. I was low key mortified. The next few days after that I couldn’t get running out of my head. Even as a kid I was told running wasn’t for me and that my body just wasn’t built for it. Part of me wanted to accept that fate, but a bigger part of me said eff it, I’m going to run. I downloaded a running app and began the grueling process. Every day the app made me run for 30 seconds longer. Soon, I was sprinting and running, and I fell in love with it. Sure, there were days where my breathing was off or my legs were tired, but I was thrilled to think that I was doing something I thought I would never be able to do.
After conquering running, I slowly started adding more cardio to my work outs. I love being outdoors and craved it all the time. I started changing the way I worked out and the work outs started changing the way I looked. My absolute favorite work out right now is stadiums. Sure, running up and down steps sounds like hell, but it’s actually like therapy now. Every step is a challenge. What I love about stadiums is that its toning your lower body. Once I’ve done a few rounds of that, I’ll incorporate squats, pushups, lunges and abs, followed by a quick lap around the stadium. I leave feeling exhausted and stronger than the day before. Nothing can beat that feeling.
2016 has been a weird year. Things have changed, things were disappointing but most importantly, it was rewarding. I’ve learned more about myself this year than I ever have. I use my hard work outs as an outlet for everything I’m feeling so that the rest of my day I can think clearly and logically. Feelings and emotions can quickly become overwhelming, and I’ve learned to let everything out in the two hours I’m outside or lifting inside. Whenever people ask how often I work out and I respond with 5-6 times a week, I always hear how crazy it is. But what most people don’t understand is that it’s become a part of my routine. It’s what keeps me sane, and I wouldn’t trade it out for anything else.
It’s so typical for everyone to make their New Year’s resolution to be more fit. However, I challenge you to make your resolution about more than just shedding a few pounds. Instead, I challenge you to make your resolution about mental and physical strength. Don’t focus on the numbers on the scale, focus on how you feel each and every day. Focus on how clear you can think every day. Focus on how aware you are of your feelings and emotions. Focus on the energy you have during the week. Focus on how much you crave challenges. Once you’re able to successfully achieve that, your body goals will follow.