Finding Your Workout: My Exercise Journey

Finding Your Workout: My Exercise Journey

I used to hate working out. Eating healthy was enough for me, and I didn’t realize the benefits of exercise until I actually tried it out. I loved gym class at school because of the team sports and the camaraderie, however, when it came the summer, I wouldn’t actually do much to maintain my fitness.

Every summer, I competed in golf tournaments about once a week and I practiced most days for about 2-6 hour. Really the only physical benefit of golf was that it strengthened my legs and kept my heart rate up because of the amount of walking (typically 5 miles) and swinging involved. However, I wasn’t doing much else to strengthen my body. So when my mom joined a gym membership, I decided to come with her to a yoga class. I instantly fell in love with yoga because it was so peaceful yet physically demanding, and the shavasana (lying down) at the end felt amazing. So I continued to attend the yoga classes once a week and carried this out during my school year. But obviously, one hour of yoga a week was not enough.

I started doing Blogilates (pilates) about once a week and doing push ups before going to bed. The next summer, I joined a field hockey camp that met twice a week, and I sprinted my way across the field. When high school started, I involved myself with field hockey. The team met every week day for two hours each. The amount of cardio we had to do was challenging for me. I remember thinking that the  3 mile run around school was a very big deal.

In the winter, I tried out dance, which met three times a week for one and a half hours each. Dance was completely different from field hockey; there wasn’t much cardio involved, but it was more like yoga because of the flexibility involved. During the season, I realized that I it really was not the sport for me. I wasn’t the most graceful or coordinated, so I told myself I would try a different sport the next winter season.

Spring was golf season for me, which was very exciting. I didn’t do much to supplement my exercise other than the mandatory half-hour weight-lifting once a week.

When summer rolled around, I started thinking back to the winter season and decided that I would either joint the swim team or run distance. Ultimately, I decided to run, mainly because of the support that Stephanie (yes, the other half of this blog), who ran cross country, gave me. I started running for 40 minutes, 5 days a week , and I got used to it. Although I dreaded the early morning wake-ups, I felt so accomplished after each run. I knew that I wasn’t the fastest, or even close to fast, but it gave me pride to be pushing myself into a sport that I was hesitant about because of the immense challenge that it presented for me.

So over the course of my journey so far, I’ve learned a couple things:

1.) Try it even if you think you’ll suck at it! Field hockey and running were two sports that I was completely intimidated by because I hated cardio. But when I gave it a try and gave it some time, I ended up enjoying it.

2.) Constantly push yourself. Fear of the greatness of your potential is probably what’s holding you back.

3.) You need a buddy/buddies. If exercise is hard for you, use other people to motivate you, whether that be teammates, friends, or opponents.

What are your experiences with exercise/athletics?

Love,

Serena

My “Athletic” Experience

My “Athletic” Experience

I am athletic … not.

After moving to a new high school I had the blessing and the curse to “remake” myself. The idea that no one knew who I was in the past was exciting yet daunting. The bad side of this “remaking” process is that my new friends think that I’m athletic because I love fitness and working out. However, this is far from the truth. I. AM. NOT. ATHLETIC. AT. ALL. PERIOD.  During elementary school, many us will remember the horrors of P.E. I still remember that every year, when I brought home my report card, for my P.E. class, I would only get “Outstanding” (the highest grade) for the category:  listening to directions. #embarrassingchildhoodmemories
IMG_1208.JPG

Out of many trials and errors (and multiple breakdowns after games lost), I discovered I am not a team sports kind of gal. Team sports meaning soccer, basketball, lacrosse, or any of those sort. I also don’t do well with aggressive sports either. And it happens to be that all team sports are aggressive, so I decided that team sports and I will never be a good mix. I remember being the tallest girl on my club basketball team and getting reprimanded by my coach before and after every game to be aggressive and get those rebounds. Yeah, that never happened. #sorrynotsorry

 

However, with all that being said, my mom encouraged me to be active and signed me up for an after-school running program called Girls on the Run, hoping I would enjoy running at the very least. Looking back now, I think I hated all 5 of the seasons. Nevertheless, Girls on the Run helped cultivate my love now for running (this is message to everyone including me: listen to your parents). Soon after, I joined the track team for both seventh and eighth grade and tried out and got in the indoor track team as a freshman. Serena knows this better than anyone, but I suffer from huge anxiety about track. It’s always been haunting me since seventh grade and it’s my lifelong goal to stop worrying so much about it (actually, this indoor track season I’ve gotten so much better at handling pre-race anxiety, if any of you are interested, comment down below so I can blog about it in the future!).

 

Anyways, the point of today’s blog post was to show that being athletic and healthy have nothing to do with each other. I was, am and never will be an athletic person. However, this should never stop someone from being active and pursuing a healthy lifestyle. With my past experience in struggling to find an activity I loved, I really urge everyone to find something that they love. I wasn’t initially fond of yoga because I knew that it was low calorie burner, I only wanted to participate in a sport that burned a lot calories. Nevertheless, I found myself loving and craving yoga –  I practiced yoga everyday because doing it wasn’t much of a chore but a hobby. If you really want to be technical, practicing yoga five times a week is going to burn a lot more calories than going on an intense and miserable run once a month.

 

So if you find yourself getting off track on your New Year’s Resolutions in terms of fitness, I seriously recommend reevaluating whether or not what you’re doing for fitness is enjoyable to you. If not, change it to something enjoyable, as simple as 30 minute walk outside. It’s that simple.

 

What’s your experience with sports?

xoxo, Stephanie

 

P.S. : Being that this is the start of February, I wanted to update everyone on how well I did on my January “balance” goal. I stated underneath January that my goals were to: Create balance in school. Create balance with food. Create balance with play and work. Create balance with your stress levels. Create balance with extracurriculars. I feel somewhat selfish saying this, but I achieved this goal. It’s weird, I feel strange that I accomplished my one of my 2016 resolutions. I mean the intention of New Year’s Resolutions are to get them accomplished, but we associate these resolutions as short-living that it’s rare to see one accomplish their resolutions.

 

After going back to school after winter break, I definitely gave myself more time to relax. It’s easy for me to get caught up in a whirlwind of work, however, this month I was strict on myself and tried to relax all these “rules” and “guidelines” I set for myself. For the first time since fourth grade, I let myself watch a TV show during the school year (I only allowed myself to watch TV shows during the summer or school breaks). For the first time since my weight loss and health journey, which started early 2015, I let myself eat whatever my body craved – no matter how “bad” that food was. I forgave myself when I ate too much on a certain day because I knew that I could better the next day.

 

However, the biggest achievement was when I created balance with my extracurriculars. Serena and I were and are struggling to find balance with our extracurriculars – how to be involved yet maintain sanity. This month, I let go of some of the school clubs I was in and found myself with at least one night a week free. While this free night was used to catch up on my homework, mentally, having no definite obligation every.single.night. was reassuring.

 

I can’t wait to maintain this “balance” mindset while starting my new goal for February which is centered around love (obviously). The mantra for February is: Love yourself. Love others by showing patience, understanding. Reach out to old childhood friends. Pray for friends. Obey your parents. Wish me luck!