Living a healthy lifestyle is a choice. It is a wonderful way to live and those who haven’t experienced it, are truly missing out on the benefits. Although turning your life into a healthy one doesn’t happen over night, it does happen with practice and persistence. Even if you’re not quite there yet, you may still be incorporating some healthy life habits that will eventually stick.
So what is this switch I’m talking about?
Day in and day out, most of us do one, many, or all things in the way of a healthy lifestyle. There is a difference between trying to live a healthy lifestyle, and actually living a healthy lifestyle. Both are the same on the exterior, but one of them takes effort, whereas the other is natural. Being a natural thing, doesn’t mean it was always that way, though.
I first started working out in August 2007. Prior to that, I was an athlete in high school, and then just plain lazy my freshman year of college. Since I was always in sports, I never had a gym schedule or even really knew what to do in the gym. I had an idea, but I laugh when I think about the workouts I used to do. Another story for another day. When I first began working out in 2007, I instantly LOVED it. I found myself having fun, getting stronger, seeing changes in my body, and of course, I had a new “sport”to be competitive about. I guess I can give credit to my trainer, Bret for bringing out that competitive side in the gym. It was a small studio, and there was a chart on the wall for all of the weight and rep records for various exercises. Obviously, I needed to work hard to beat those 😉
I loved ending my days with a session at Lifts(the name of the gym.) I looked forward to it everyday, not only because of the workout, but the people there as well. There were only a few trainers and I got along with them all. The other clients were really cool, too. Either way, I would workout and end up staying a few extra hours there just hanging out. I find myself doing that at any gym I go to. I become friends with people there and, since its my favorite place to be anyways, I end up spending most of my free time there. Exciting life, right? This also has a lot to do with NOT belonging to a corporate gym, and why I probably never will, but more on that in another post.
I remember about a year into my new-found love of the gym, I started to worry. If I got sick, I would force myself to go to the gym anyways. Why?? Well if I didn’t go for a few days, what if I never went back? That was something I seriously worried about. Although I knew I loved it, I have a tendency to love something and do it, over do it, and then some. Many times I get burnt out for a while and go back to it a few months later after I’ve had a break.(cough rock climbing cough) I knew if I missed more than a day or two, I might start to get that feeling of not wanting to go. I would fall out of the “routine” and find that I didn’t want that routine anymore.
It wasn’t until I began to prepare for my competition last year (December 2008) that I realized that the gym wasn’t going anywhere, and neither was I. In fact, I didn’t even need a gym. Exercise had become a part of my life. If I had to miss a week from working out(still hasn’t happened yet, thankfully) there is no doubt in my mind that I would be ITCHING to get in some sort of activity afterwards. Whether it was a weight session, a run, a hike, a long walk, boxing, a boot camp, ANYTHING, as long as I could get my exercise in, I’d be okay. You see, before that, I thought it was just a hobby, and it was something that was more of a chore for me to do.
Now, going to the gym or working out in general is FAR from a chore. It is my lifestyle and it is something that I look forward to every single day. A day off is torturous to me. They are necessary at times, and sometimes taking a whole week off is necessary, depending on what your training is like, but it isn’t something that I like to particularly do. Sure, there are days where I wake up and head to the gym and want nothing more than to go home and lay in bed, but I always end up doing at least SOMETHING. I love being fit and can’t imagine my life without exercise. It is seriously the one thing that I can always rely on.
If my friends, family, teachers, bosses, etc are pissing me off, I always have exercise to turn to. It never fails and can be done ANYWHERE. I also can’t help but love that when I attend a new exercise class or work with a new trainer, they are impressed by my endurance. I almost always get a comment mentioning that I am in “great shape” and that my recovery time is so quick. I take so much pride in hearing things like that. I work my ASS off for it. It isn’t something that I was “gifted” with, it’s something that I work towards. It is achievable by anyone who has the desire to take their fitness to the next level. I’m not in the best shape of anyone, in fact, there are plenty of people in way better shape than me, but as long as I keep on working hard and taking it a step up each time, I will only get better and better.
Whether I’m show lean or not, I always have my fitness. The work in the gym is tough stuff, but getting there is effortless. Fitness has become my lifestyle.