My personal fitness journey is something that has been a long time coming and is constantly evolving. When I was growing up I was much more likely to be found reading a book than outside playing sports or being active. I loved that reading could transport me to different places, different times, and different people. I remember when I entered Junior High I needed one more elective in my schedule and decided to just bite the bullet and go for Competitive Athletics, which included volleyball, basketball and track. I had always been good at volleyball in PE classes, basketball was OK and I had never tried track. So I figured I’d just go for it and see how it went.
I instantly fell in love with volleyball and honestly from there the rest is history. I never loved basketball and was borderline horrific at track and field, but once I stepped on the volleyball court I just felt different – strong, confident, and in control. I played both at the school level and on club teams all through Junior High and High School, and looking back even the most terrible two-a-days were always a blast. I loved playing! Until I got burned out my junior year and decided to forgo the scholarships I had been offered and played golf instead. Knowing what I know now about college athletics I think it’s a good thing that I didn’t actually play for a school, but at the time my heart ached. I missed playing, I missed being active, I missed my team.
When I started college I was about 10 lbs heavier than I was in high school simply because I wasn’t working out the way that I always had for volleyball. One of my friends decided to go to the Rec Center on campus for a jog one day and invited me to come. I hated running but knew I needed to get moving again for my health and for my sanity, so I went. And then I went back the next day. And the next. Until literally every day I was at the Rec Center running 6+ miles, lifting weights, and forming friendships with the other people like me who were there all the time. It was great to feel involved and I was even able to play volleyball again in intramural leagues and at the collegiate club level! I remember the best man at our wedding, our friend Austin, put it this way: anyone who knew me likely knew me because we’d met at the Rec. I loved it that way!
Upon graduating I found myself without a Rec Center pass anymore (well, not one that was included with tuition) and immediately felt lost again on what to do. I had just moved to Dallas and had started a full-time job on top of wedding planning and living on my own for the first time ever. I tried to be as involved with working out as before, but just didn’t have the desire since I didn’t have a place to go. Sure, I could have joined a gym but was saving all of my money for our honeymoon. So I started walking, doing lunges and weight training with barbells, and incorporated yoga into my days. It was hard to be motivated, but I was proud that I was doing anything at all. Our wedding came and went and then all I wanted was to spend all of my free time snuggling with my husband, and not working out.
A few years later I realized that I loved the part of my identity that came from working out and being fit. I missed it and wanted it back so I decided at the time that the best course of action was for me to get certified in personal training and start working at a gym. I could help others find the same love of fitness as I had AND I could get back in shape – win win, right? Honestly, no. I had no idea how sales-y personal training is and barely had time in my 14-hour workdays to fit in a workout for myself. I had to commute about an hour each way with traffic, and by the time I got home it was all I could do to take our dog out on walks in the evenings. Again, my workouts fell by the wayside and I found myself still missing that piece of myself that being strong and active brings. And then we moved to Colorado.
Out here I was able to start hiking and trail running, skiing in the winter, and learning to love riding my mountain bike. I finally felt like I could get back into the swing of things, and so I aggressively started working out like crazy, running long distances again but not taking care to rest properly. Injury after injury after injury later I ended up pregnant and out of shape, at clocking in at my heaviest weight and holding on for dear life to the hope that one day, ONE DAY, I might be able to get fit again. Now that we’ve had our little guy I’m looking to the next step of my fitness story – being a strong and healthy mom. It’s no longer about the weight, the size, the shape – it’s now about being the strongest and healthiest version of me so that I can take care of Nate and Weston. It’s about taking the time for me to do something I love every day. It’s about the higher quality of life that comes from being healthfully active. And so here I am: embarking on this next leg of my fitness journey with a fresh perspective, very little time, and a motivating factor that blows all of the other ones out of the water. Please feel free to check out any of the links below where I talk about what and how I’m doing, and as always please feel free to ask questions!