Today I was randomly thinking about my passion for fitness, and I realized I’ve worked out regularly since the end of 8th grade! In a very “Forrest Gump” fashion (ha ha ha), one day I just started running and it kind of stuck. Haha…that analogy is pretty funny, not to mention I love Forrest Gump. Am I the only person who watches it every time its on TV?! Anyways, back to my point…I just found a passion for running and working out, and looking back its crazy to think a 14-year old could be so dedicated to something healthy like that! To be honest, I wasn’t raised that way. I mean, as a child, I pretty much stayed outside and rode my bike or ran around outside, but my parents weren’t (and still aren’t) marathoners or fitness-crazed people like I am now…haha. My dad will ride his bike from time to time and my family will go on long walks or hikes, usually with my prompting…but that’s it. So I don’t know how that spark for fitness and health was instilled in me. I do have to give my parents cred: my family eats pretty healthily, at least 85-90% of the time. Its not perfect, but its pretty darn good :)
Anyways, when I started running way back in 2003, I would run like a mile at most. In 9th grade, when I started cheerleading, we had conditioning during the summer and we would run a mile, including up and down the stadium bleachers. I remember how everyone hated it, myself included. But it didn’t take long for me to start to appreciate it, and I remember the first time I did a mile run+bleachers at cheer practice and then I went home and ran another mile. Two miles in one day! That was a huge deal for me at the time, and looking back, its crazy to see how far I’ve come! I remember all throughout high school, I came home and did Pilates every single day after I ran, I kid you not. Wow…I don’t even do that now, but I work out harder and longer as a whole nowadays. Pilates is awesome though….maybe I should revisit my high school philosophy!
My junior year of high school, I joined the YMCA and would go about three or four times a week, on nights I didn’t have to cheer at basketball games. This is when the calorie-counting really began…seeing it on the cardio machines as I worked out. You know, I actually think I had a healthier philosophy before I joined the gym and seeing how many calories I burned after my workout! I even shared my struggle with the numbers in this post, which happened in college. However, joining the Y back in high school did make me more interested in new workouts, and when I went to college, I started doing group fitness classes at least half of the week, alternating with running or elliptical the other days. This is also when I started using workouts to burn off calories I knew I was going to drink away on the weekends. Bad philosophy! After using my freshman year of college as an excuse to go partying crazy(!), I grew up finally. I rarely ever drink now…a glass of wine here and there and at weddings or big parties…okay, I tend to go overboard but its so much fun…guess I haven’t grown up completely! But overall, I’m a lot healthier now. I have a healthier relationship with exercise, sleep (going to bed at 2am used to be normal), and alcohol (no more Wasted Wednesdays!). My running ability really has metamorphosed since that first day in 2003, and sometimes I’m shocked when I look back and see how far I’ve come! Fitness is a huge part of my life, and I love that my family and my boyfriend respect that enough wake up at 5am to go support me at races and to not think I’m crazy to wake up at 6:45am on a Saturday to go to Spin class! To me, it’s just fun…I look forward to it. The key is to find something you enjoy, and you’ll find that you really love how being fit makes you feel!