After 4 decades I finally figured out how to go from crying before exercise to thriving and integrating it into everyday life.
Do you remember how fast you ran the mile in elementary school gym class? I don’t remember my time, but I do remember I was almost always last. I would cry on the day we would have to run the mile because I was not an athletic kid. If you ask my mom she will tell you that I was a good gymnast, but I disagree. I never felt like I could do the things the other girls in gymnastics could do. I also cried when I played soccer because the ref blew his whistle at me when I used my hands. I never played soccer again. I was a cheerleader in high school, but that does not make me athletic. I preferred sleeping instead of attending 6:30am practices.
How does a girl who hates being being active end up majoring in exercise science in college? In high school my friend and I began doing Jane Fonda workouts. I actually enjoyed the sweat and the endorphins the exercise gave me. After trying 3 other majors in college I decided that I wanted something practical that I could use for the rest of my life. My brother had just graduated college with a political science and history degree and became a consultant for Anderson Consulting. This made me realize it really didn’t matter what my major was as long as it was something I enjoyed learning about.
During college I began lifting weights and jogging. I loved learning about how the body functions from the cellular level to the different systems in the body, especially the muscle. Anatomy was the best class I took during college. The hands on experience of anatomy lab was amazing.
I remained active during both of my pregnancies. I walked often and also enjoyed swimming. After I had my kids I needed something that was just for me. This is when I began to compete in various races. I participated in 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons, a full marathon, and triathlons. My left knee gave out on me and I had to have surgery. Therefore, my running days were over shortly after I turned 40.
Now, at 45 I spend 3 days per week lifting heavy weights and 1 day doing a lighter total body workout. I also like to mix in HITT, Tabata, Peloton and most importantly walking 7-10k steps per day. Hot power yoga is also in my rotation. Hot yoga is very physically demanding, but for me it is more about the moving mediation and mental health benefits that I get vs the workout.
Swimming is probably my favorite workout. There is something about the silence of gliding through the water with my whole body moving that energizes me. I am hoping to include swimming in my workouts more often this summer.
How has your exercise routine evolved throughout the years?