Quote of the Day: “It’s your road and your road alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” -Rumi
I decided that for each blog post, I want to incorporate a “Quote of the Day”. They may or may not have anything to do with what I’ll be talking about, but they will always be relevant to my what is going on in my life.
Today I wanted to discuss my relationship with exercise because boy has that been an interesting journey. I know this is going to be a long post, so let’s just get into it.
My Relationship with Exercise:
Growing up, I was pretty active. I started swimming at 4 years old or something like that and basically had swim practice every day and swim meets every weekend. At that age, I had no idea what working out was or that I was even exercising. To me, swimming just felt like something fun and something that I loved doing.
In third grade, I started playing basketball. I immediately fell in love with the sport. I loved the team aspect of it as well as the aggressiveness of the game. Obviously there was a lot of running, but it still never felt like working out. I was still swimming a lot as well, so I was staying very active. I played basketball all through middle school and was planning on playing in High school, but decided not to… my biggest regret.
In sixth grade, I picked up tennis. Tennis came pretty naturally to me, so it was really fun. I didn’t love it as much as basketball, but I knew I would continue playing it. I was always really slow and lazy on the court though because my tennis coach would tell me how bad my footwork was. Sports were really a big part of my life growing up and I’m glad I was able to stay active.
Moving on to high school… freshmen year I gained a lot of weight. I was still playing sports (tennis and swimming), but not as much. Tennis practice was literally a joke. We barely did anything it seemed like. I wasn’t as active as I should’ve been, which contributed a lot to the weight gain. I was kind of aware of it, but not really.
It didn’t hit me until junior year/senior year when I started worrying more about my weight. I started playing a lot more tennis outside of practice and I started putting a lot more into my swimming. Naturally, I lost weight. Between junior and senior year, my mom went on a huge health kick. She started working out a ton, which really motivated me to start working out too. I joined a gym senior year and even had a few personal training sessions. I really enjoyed working out outside of playing sports. Fitness quickly became a passion and hobby for me.
When I entered college, I wanted to continue working out + I didn’t want to gain the dreaded “Freshmen 15!” Lucky for me, University of Oregon had the best student recreation center! It easily became my favorite building on campus. I remember each day I would go to the gym and run 3.1+ miles and perform a lot of body weight exercises. I was getting really good at pushups and just felt a lot stronger and more athletic. I felt like freshmen year, I had a really good relationship with exercise. I wasn’t overdoing it, I wasn’t obsessed with it, I just enjoyed it a lot. I thought it was really fun and I really appreciated other people who would go to the gym every day too. I also was aware when my body needed a rest and recovery day and I wouldn’t try and push past it. I would listen to my body…how it should be.
Sophomore year I was super excited to move into my new apartment because there was a gym just a few floors below me. I was literally able to go to the gym whenever I wanted and it was great because it was really never that busy. That year, I became OBSESSED with working out. At some point, I went to the gym twice a day, everyday. It was an addiction and it was hard on my body. I would go to group exercise classes at 6:00 am sometimes or go downstairs to the gym at 6:00 am and then do something later in the afternoon. I didn’t really feel like I was getting stronger, nor did I feel like my body was changing…it really just felt like my body was hurting. I knew at that point that my relationship with exercise wasn’t the healthiest.
Coming into my junior year, I really wanted to have that healthy relationship with exercise again. I told myself that I wasn’t going to workout more than once per day and that I was going to have a few rest days. This worked for the most part, except during the rest days, I felt so guilty. I felt like I should be at the gym being active. I felt like I was missing something in my day and I NEEDED to go to the gym even though I didn’t necessarily want to.
Battling that guilt for a year has lead me to where I am now and where I was senior year. I feel like I finally have a really healthy relationship with exercise. I workout 4-6 days/week for about 45 min-1.5 hours. Some days I take it really easy and other days I push myself a lot. It really depends on how I’m feeling that day and what my body is telling me. When I don’t feel like going, I usually don’t…unless I’m really just being lazy. I try my best to not feel guilty and most times I don’t. It’s a good balance.
I feel like having a good relationship with exercise is really important. Working your body too hard will lead to pain and injury. Not working out at all will lead to weakened muscles, breathlessness, weight gain, and a whole lot of problems. Find balance and do what you love. Working out is NEVER selfish, so you should do it whenever you want, but just make sure you’re doing it! Stay active people!