The story of how I found the best thing that could have happened to me. Read on….
Post-separation, I was living with my parents and there was a gym about a block away. For three months, I looked at this gym when I drove by. Each day, filled with more curiosity than the last wondering if I should sign up; I was holding mental dialogue between the two characters in my mind that help me decide whether or not to do something.
GID v BID
Good Influence Dayna (GID): Hey look, a gym! You should go check it out, it wouldn’t hurt to try.
Bad Influence Dayna (BID): Yes it would, you could mess up your knee! You don’t have the time to workout. There’s a lot of people there and they might stare at you. Only fit people go and you’re not fit at all. Need I say more?
GID: Try it anyway. What else do you have to lose?
So, I did what I was fearing to do. I signed up to the gym…online. It wasn’t for another two weeks that I actually stepped foot into the building.
I walked into that establishment like a deer cautiously walking onto an open field to make sure that it was safe. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had not been to a gym in, well, in ever. The receptionist was polite, she checked me in, and I was on my own from there.
I was really unsure as to what to do first, where to go, how to work the machines or anything. I made my way over to the treadmill. There we go – I thought to myself – something that I had seen at some point in my life. I pressed the button and began a gradual jog.
30 minutes. I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes, jogging my little chunky self away. For some reason, I was expecting to have some sort of miraculous epiphany when I was done. You know, fall in love with the whole exercising aspect, but I didn’t. If anything, I felt even worse about myself because I jogged for 30 minutes and I darn neared a heart attack, or at least I felt like I did.
Let’s paint a picture here. I was at a hunched stance of 5 foot and 2 1/2 inches and I was 190 lbs. I was a short, stubby, heavy girl so jogging for that long was a nightmare.
Focusing on trying not to hyperventilate during that jog leveled at a 4 really discouraged me from going back again; but for some reason, something in my subconscious told me to go back and I did… a few days later.
After I made up my mind, I decided to go right after work one day, so I could get it out of the way. As I was scanning myself in, one of the coaches from those boot camp classes approached me. Casually, he asked if I wanted to give his associate’s class a try. It was free for a week and if I liked it, I could sign up.
GID v BID (The Rematch)
GID: Hey, you don’t know much about working out, maybe you can learn something.
BID: Ok, FIRST OF ALL, did you see how intense that class was? Did you not feel like you were about to die from just JOGGING??? Come on. You’re not fit enough for this. Conquer the treadmill first, you overachiever.
GID: Becuase it’s intense, you should try it. Because you were about to die from just jogging, you should try it. Because you’re not fit enough, you should try it. Because you are an overachiever, you should try it.
So I tried it.
I followed the coach, as he led me to the area where I would soon be gasping for air. He told me to join the rest of the group and I was on my own from there. I joined the huddled group of people around the whiteboard with markings that indicated what exercises we were about to partake, in other words, the WOD (workout of the day).
The exercises were so foreign to me that they might as well have been hieroglyphs. Therefore, I did the smart thing and paid attention to the demonstration that the coaches were giving.
There were 10 stations for each exercise and we had to be on each station for 45 seconds and rest for 15, twice at each station. When talking about it, it didn’t seem too intense, but as soon as the class started, I was gasping for the will to live.
I remember trying the class for the first time as if it was yesterday. I wanted to cry because I felt like I couldn’t handle it. I wanted to quit because I felt like it was way too hard and I had bitten more off than I could chew. I felt so disappointed in myself during the exercises that I nearly considered ending my membership.
BUT! It was during the pushup station where I was struggling to lift myself that I happened to look up. I saw a woman who was at least 70 years old, not complaining, not crying, and trying her best to keep herself moving. Then I thought to myself, if she can do it, why can’t I?
So I pushed myself and guess what? I completed the class.
You remember that epiphany that I was hoping for when I was jogging on that treadmill? Well, at the end of this class, it happened.
I had put myself through such an excruciatingly intense workout that I wanted to give up on as soon as things got difficult, but I didn’t; and I learned something about myself that day:
No matter how hard my life can get, no matter how unbearable it may seem, I can get through it because I am STRONG.
I fell in love with the exercises, with the intensity, and with the feeling of being unstoppable. I had such a poor self esteem before this class and as soon as I completed it, I became a different person. A person with hope that things will get better, a person with a newfound sense of optimism.
At that moment, I decided:
NO LONGER WILL I ALLOW ANYONE TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE LESS THAN WHAT I AM. NO LONGER WILL I ALLOW MYSELF TO DOUBT WHETHER OR NOT I CAN DO SOMETHING. I AM STRONG: STRONG WILLED, STRONG MINDED, AND STRONG HEARTED. NO LONGER WILL I ALLOW ANYONE OR ANYTHING OR ANY CIRCUMSTANCE JADE MY OPTIMISM.
So, what became of me since I found exercise? I still exercise almost every day. I play soccer, I run Spartan Races, I do 10k runs, I do EPIC Races, I hike, and do anything else that I can find to challenge myself in a new way.
I LOVE to workout and I LOVE the feeling it still gives me when I complete a session.
I have lost a total of 45 lbs and have gotten so much stronger since then. The transformation has been real and the beauty of it is that I still want more. I’m still hungry for more.
Until next time…