My youngest son was about six months old and in a fit of motivation, I announced to my blog readers that I was going to start some sort of fitness something or other. Then you guys were like “Hooray. Let us know how it’s going, we’re excited to see progress” and all those things that make a person feel bad when they don’t follow through.
I still vividly remember the first workout of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred. I woke up about 5:30 AM and slogged through the most uncomfortable 25 minutes of my life. It felt like every muscle in my body had turned to gelatinous sludge after having babies and not one single joint knew where it was supposed to move and how it was supposed to support my body. My eyebrows were sweating. I got very angry. I couldn’t sit on the toilet for about three days.
When you read these motivational articles about working out and perky, skinny and unnaturally tan people tell you to “JUST GET MOVING. YOU’LL FEEL SO GOOD”, it’s all a bunch of lies. Nothing feels good in the beginning. But you have to get through the beginning at some point to get to the great.
It took me a LONG time to make exercise a natural part of my daily routine. It started out as a serious chore. I tried every day to talk myself out of it and often succeeded. It took me over 3 months to complete the 30-Day Shred. However, every time I pressed play on the video, I felt a little better. I lost a little weight. I gained a little more energy. I started realizing that I actually felt better AFTER the workout, instead of focusing on how hard it was to get started.
I finished one more round of the 30-Day Shred and was ready for a new challenge. My husband had purchased P90X a few months back and just the thought of it terrified me. I just kept pushing play, I figured out a way to work it into our routine. I forced myself to put on my workout clothes. I pushed play. I worked out early in the morning before my kids woke up. I worked out during Dora the Explorer. I worked out while dodging Lightening McQueen. I worked out on vacation. I did the ab workout with a 25-pound toddler on my chest. It never occurred to me to skip a workout.
What next? A great friend of mine had been a part of a CrossFit gym and had been hinting that I should come try it out. Every week I was all “I’m so busy. I have to wash the car. I have to take out my own spleen. I have to pay taxes. I have to move to Montana.” So we tabled that idea for awhile.
My husband stumbled across a local mud run coming up in our area and we both kind of felt each other out, waiting for the other one to say it was crazy and we should never do it. Neither one of us was willing to say all the words and we ended up signing up. Never in my life had I run more than a mile (and that was probably in elementary school), let alone a 3.2 mile course with obstacles and mud and ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE RACING AND WATCHING ME. The night before, I couldn’t sleep and woke up at an atrocious hour and started nervous baking.
Miraculously, we survived. And felt a little empowered. And apparently a little crazy. In the swag bag from the race was a free one-month pass to the very CrossFit gym my dear friend had been raving about for months. Cosmic coincidence. CrossFit Gods. Who knows? All I know is that the crazy kicked in and I scheduled my first introductory class. And then promptly wanted to die.
Fast forward about a year and a half and our whole family has been converted to CrossFit. The husband, the kids, the dog. We go 4-5 days per week and spend extraordinary amounts of time at the gym, with people from the gym, talking about the gym. It has turned into so much more than a place to work out, it’s become a place to expose weaknesses, learn strengths, lift heavy weight, meet rad friends and burn a few calories.
It has turned us into crazy people who sign up for CrossFit competitions.
We run the 12-mile Tough Mudder course and get electrocuted and freeze to death and still come out smiling.
We compete in the CrossFit Open and get judged on our workouts in front of way too many people by GUYS WITH CLIPBOARDS. It’s all very serious.
I know, I know. I’ve shared so much of this before. But when people ask me how I got in shape or how I lost weight, it’s a very complicated answer. There’s not just one thing or one approach. It’s a windy road with one decision leading to another which led to another sideways decision that introduced me to that person who showed me a new way of doing things.
The only way to truly know what will work for you is to start somewhere. That somewhere will most likely end in a place completely different, but you will never get there without the first step.
What’s to come in this series:
- Challenges I face while trying to keep up a routine
- My goals for 2014
- Our nutrition and healthy eating plan/goals
- Things I shove in my mouth over the course of one day
What was the first step you took on your fitness journey? Where are you now?
What is the biggest step you’ve taken outside of your comfort zone?
Is there something you’d like to see me cover in this series? What do you have questions about?
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