I often tell people that I have one of the best jobs around because I get to see people for the best part of their day. Even if they come in stressed, tired, cranky, or reppin’ a plain ‘ol anti-working out attitude, they always leave feeling better. Even when they don’t want to move, their bodies do and once they get started their brains catch up and remember that exercise, or at least the effect of exercise, does in fact feel good. Add in a good dose of endorphins and there ya go!
Many of us get caught up in the jungle of life and forget for a while that we like to exercise. A major injury, a change in jobs, pregnancy, marriage…many things can disrupt a workout regimen that may be hard to stick with even in the best situations. And as we all know, once we get out of motion it can be very difficult to get going again.
This is why I am so very excited to share the story of one of my clients, Oriana, who has regained her love of movement and has learned to gently reintroduce exercise into her life. I believe that her story is widely relatable and it is one that quietly inspires me every single week.
Working with Jessie has changed not only my thinking around working out, she has changed my life. With her guidance, I have shifted how I view working out, as well as how I view making changes. I used to think that if I was going to workout it had to be to the max: if I did anything less than two hours, it wasn’t worth it. That kind of thinking put so much pressure on the situation. It made just putting my shoes on a chore, I was already tired and worn down before I got out the door. Most days I wouldn’t even make it that far.
This was surprising to me as I have been an athlete my whole life. I played sports year round in high school, and was always finding a way to play soccer. Why was it so hard now?
Three years ago, I tore my ACL. Going through that experience and physically not being able to move, let alone play sports, impacted me. Truly having my ability to be active taken away, showed me I wanted to move and how important having strength and endurance are. Soon after my recovery, I ran into Jessie by chance. I knew she was a trainer, and asked if she would be willing to work with me. She graciously and excitedly said yes. That was a year and a half ago.
Jessie became my “accountability buddy.” She pushed me without me really knowing it, because I didn’t want to let her down. Having that little bit of structure worked wonders! With her help, I worked through the mindset I had around working out and illuminated my patterns around working out. My thought patterns changed. Instead of ‘this is hard’ it became, ‘I’ll give it a try.’ Instead of thinking that I have to work out for two hours, it transformed to just do something, anything and I often find I want to do more if I just start.
It was not a short or necessarily easy process. It has taken time and there has been lots of frustration. I had to work through it. It has been uncomfortable at times, but the one thing I did was show up. Days when all I wanted to do was curl up and stay in bed, I showed up. Days I wasn’t ‘feeling it,’ I showed up. Fortunately on those days, Jessie took care of the rest.
Now, I’m swimming three days a week and still working out with Jessie one day a week. I’ve seen changes. I’ve felt changes. The most important thing is that I am more accepting of myself around workouts. I do what I can, when I can, and I don’t beat myself up when I fall short. It has taken the pressure off. I do have to be careful, because it is easy to slip into zero pressure and being too easy on myself, and I have. When I do, I remember to get back on the proverbial horse and keep going. ‘Yes, I slipped up, but let’s not make a bigger issue out of it. Tomorrow is another day.’
One of the nuggets I will keep with me from all this is that working out, like most things in life, is a practice. There is no end point, there is not moment when you get to say, ‘Okay, I’m fit. All done. I can stop now.’ It is a continuous practice that will fluctuate throughout our lives, almost daily. Be consistent. Accept the fluctuations. It will take time. It will change.
To say that I am proud would be a heck of an understatement. It is so wonderful to work with someone who is open to change, eager to learn, and willing to put in the hard work. Thank you, Oriana, for allowing me to be a part of your process and congratulations on the progress you have made!!
Originally posted October 23, 2018.