Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Fitness Story

Once upon a time, I was not as into health and fitness as I am today. Once upon a time, I was a tall, thin cheerleader who ate ice cream, burgers and fries like it was my day job. Once upon a time, I went to college and things changed.

Okay so the start to my story probably isn't much different from any high school athlete's to be honest. It's what happened in college that changed my view of how I treat my body. {I'm still working on treating it better, I'm doing okay, but not great!}

Like I said, in high school I was always lean. I head been in dance/gymnastic/cheerleading since I could walk. All of these sports require an incredible amount of physical ability, determination and body control. I was always active and the fact that I grew over a foot between 12 and 14 helped me maintain a strong, lean frame. Once I turned 16, I was able to use the gym at our Community Club and would go up there to run/bike/elliptical. Aside from that and cheerleading practice {which included running and a lot of core work} that was the extent of my workout plan.




Enter college. I continued cheering. Gained probably the freshman 8-10 pounds, I was lucky and I attribute this to the fact that I was still cheering {3 nights/week} and tumbling {1-2 night/week}. I started to poke my nose into A&M's fitness center {the REC}, but wasn't found in there more than 1-2 times per week. This lasted through my sophomore year.




Junior year, I quit cheering. I continued to tumble at BVGC {awesome gymnastics facility for anyone in Bryan/College Station who's interested!} and my girl Julie asked me to go to a group exercise class with her at the REC. Thank God she asked me! {Taking classes also brought Julie and I so much closer}As dramatic as it sounds, it changed my life. Julie and I started attending classes pretty often and were considered "regulars." It's honestly so cool when an instructor knows your name because you go to their class so often. We took a class that the director of Group Ex at the REC taught and started to get to know her pretty well. At the beginning of springtime, she was asking me if I wanted to sign up for the Group EX instructor classes, so I did! It was a six/eight week course that taught you how to teach! Then at the end you could decide if you wanted to audition to be an instructor. I've made quite a few good decisions in my life {choosing Texas A&M University, saying "yes" to the hubs, changing my major} and this was one of them.

I fell in love with teaching fitness. I loved watching my regular students improve weekly. I loved when people would come tell me what a great class I just taught. I loved learned how to teach different formats. I loved getting paid to work out. I loved spending time at the gym. I loved learning how to teach new formats. I loved coming up with new moves and new combos. There is so much to love about fitness as long as you find you niche.

Another thing I loved about teaching at A&M were the friendships that I made. It's important to have friends that can help you grow and work towards goals in areas that mean a lot to you. It was like having a huge group of workout buddies!




The summer before my final semester at Texas A&M {I took an extra half victory lap} is when I started running. It started as a random whim I had to run a half marathon. I finished my first 1/2 that November. It wasn't until I actually crossed that finish line when I realized I was hooked.

After college, I moved back to Houston and started working out at 24 Hour Fitness and quickly realized how much I missed teaching. Luckily I was able to jump right back in when an instructor at 24 Hour recommended me to the Group Ex director. I ended up getting my own class at the downtown location once a week and I subbed every so often when I felt like it. I taught there until I moved to Pittsburgh and of course I was still running.

In Pittsburgh I decided not to teach since I couldn't transfer to another 24 Hour since they aren't in the state! Instead I focused my year on running. The weather in Pittsburgh is much more ideal for running and I could run outside all year round. I ran 4 half marathons the year I lived in Pittsburgh...the most I've done in a year. I also took a lot of strength training classes with my friend Maria to improve my strength and to keep getting new ideas for teaching when I returned.




Over the past year back in Houston, I haven't started teaching again. I haven't even gotten a gym membership {I had one in Pittsburgh}. I did do bootcamp for several months in the winter/spring until it got too hot outside. The second half of 2012 was solely focused on running and training for my full marathon. Training for a marathon is a lifestyle change. You have to say no to happy hour on Friday night knowing you have an 16+ mile run on Saturday at 5:30am. You spend the rest of Saturday waddling and hoping you don't drink too much at the tailgate because your tolerance is WAY down. It was totally worth it to me. 100% I would and will do it again. But right now I'm stuck. I need to be back in the gym. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to teaching though. I'll probably start with a membership and try to work teaching into my schedule soon.

Ultimately I do not want to work at a computer for the rest of my life. When the time is right, I would love to teach a few classes a week and get my personal training certificate...which I've been putting off. I don't know when the time will be right, but I know it's not now. I like what I'm doing and I like my pay check even more. One day, I will make the switch. Trust me, I want it too bad to never do it. I'm just waiting for His timing.

So there you have it. That's how I got so into fitness! Everyone has there own fitness story. How did you start getting into fitness? Are you still trying to find your niche?


Until next time...
With love and God bless,

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