FitNess: Pushing Yourself This New Year

One of my favorite things about having this website is being able to look back, reflect and see where I’ve come with my goals. For two decades, I let myself believe I wasn’t athletic. I wasn’t a runner. I wasn’t strong.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still amazingly uncoordinated. Amazingly. (Remind me to tell you the time I ripped the ligaments in my ankle. Walking. Barefoot. On flat ground.) I’m still not the best, the strongest or the fastest. I will never be the best, the strongest or the fastest. More importantly though, I’m going to keep trying to be MY best, MY strongest, and MY fastest.

With running, I woke up one day and signed up for a half marathon. I had no idea what I was doing and struggled to do 3 miles without turning bright red and watching the clock like a hawk. One. tenth. of. a. mile. at. a. time. With enough motivation and hard work, the big day eventually came and I finished in 2:24. Yet, I still didn’t feel like a runner.

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Since then I’ve run three more half marathons. And you know what, I still never thought of myself as a runner. I kept signing up, setting goals for myself to try and prove something. To try and prove myself wrong despite every cramp, every bloody blister, or every time of getting on the treadmill to train when I wanted to do anything but…

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Eventually, I started incorporating other types of new workouts into my routine. I remember my first day of spinning. I actually had anxiety about it! How do these people do this?! And willingly! Yet, after a few sessions, I went in and adjusted my seat to the usual height, turned on my flat road and got ready to join the ride. Willingly.

One day after leaving spinning, a good friend and yoga instructor called me over and asked when I would try yoga. For weeks, I’d admittedly come up with reasons not to try it. Finally I agreed and, much like a baby deer learning to walk, my limbs awkwardly flailed for the next hour. Like any good instructor, she called me out. Your knee, Vanessa. Fix your plank, Vanessa. I watched as these graceful gazelles in their backless Lululemon tops manipulated their bodies while I struggled just to lift myself up in the most basic positions.

My point is, we all do different things in the gym. Who are we to judge? Instead, focus on yourself and going beyond your comfort zone. You are your own competition. Each day, make a conscience decision to be better than you were yesterday, however the method.

I’m still not where I want to be and my journey has been a long one. I’ve lost over 40 pounds since I started a year ago. I would still like get stronger and incorporate weights into my routine more often. However, looking back I can be proud of where I’ve come from and where I’m going. The only person I’ve had to convince was myself.

Share your story and your fitness goals! Let us know in the comments section below. Support each other and inspire others to live out their best life. Instead of tearing down the gym for being busy in the New Year, hope that the “resolutioners” stick with it and become the best they can be. Together we can inspire each other to keep being the best we can be.

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