Those are two words you don’t normally see next to each other or in the same sentence but they are both very present in my weekly routine. I kind of have to back up a bit because you have to understand that I was never the athletic, sporty type. I went to gym class in high school because I didn’t have a choice and I would participate but lets just say that enjoyment wasn’t exactly a part of it. I wasn’t the suckiest in gym but I definitely wasn’t great either. We had to do cross-country skiing in junior high gym (only in Canada) and needless to say I hated cross-country. These gym classes were always a mission and a half because it took us half the class just to get equipped and then the other half I spent it at the back of the pack just trying to figure out how to “ski” (my Portuguese roots were really obvious in the winter sports category). Anyways, I still laugh every time I get the image of me trying to cross-country ski and I can just hear the constant complaining to the gym teacher about how this was the worst thing ever.
All this to say that I was never someone who loved working out and I started to workout thanks to my husband because he was always the athletic type. M got me into running and I use the term running loosely because what I did 10 years ago definitely doesn’t classify as running, it was more like panting and surviving around the park!
My biggest battle with exercise was making it part of my routine and not an obligation. It’s taken me forever to get to this point but I’m finally there. I used to exercise full force and go out jogging four times a week for a couple of months (at most) and then I’d just stop. I’d also spend my whole day thinking about my workout and then I’d get home and bail because I was too tired. It was exhausting to think about something all day and then not do it. Not to mention the guilt that came along with it so it just became easier not to do it in order to not have to think about it (does this even make any sense?).
I had never experienced the endorphin rush after working out. I’d feel great after working out because I did it but not because I physically felt amazing. Then I started Yoga a year ago and I’m happy to report that I can finally say I know what that endorphin thing is all about. I totally suck at Yoga and can’t do half of the things my teacher tells us to do but I still go twice a week and love every second. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I hate sucking at something but I’ve learnt to just go with it and I manage to do much better when I don’t obsess over the poses and they usually just happen when they have to.
Yoga’s great but I needed something more. I hate traditional gyms and I’m not disciplined enough to just workout on my own. I’m one of those people that needs the structure and obligation that signing up for a class brings. I had no clue as to what I should try out because I wanted something that would get me in shape and be a full body workout. I’d tried swimming and I confirmed what I already knew and that was that I freakin’ hate swimming. Somehow I stumbled upon Crossfit and thought this looks interesting but I wasn’t sure if I was capable of doing this high intensity workout. When I used to go to the gym I’d just run on the treadmill and use the elliptical trainer because I found the weight section of the gym completely intimidating. Needless to say that Crossfit was absolutely terrifying and a huge step outside of my comfort zone but something inside me said that I had to try it.
I went to the Crossfit fundamentals class and I couldn’t move for three days. Every single inch of my body was killing me after that class but I went back for more and I’ve been doing Crossfit twice a week since April. Crossfit isn’t as popular in Spain as it is in North America and most of the Crossfitters I see at my local box are those lifetime athletes that actually look like they know what they’re doing. I can’t climb the rope and pull-ups are my nemesis but I get a little better with every session and the visual results of Crossfit are amazing. My body is changing and everything is tightening up which we know gets harder and harder to do as the years go by. Basically if I can do Crossfit then anyone can, trust me!
Thanks to Crossfit and Yoga I’ve been able to incorporate exercise into my routine without it being a chore and I actually look forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I’m just not in the mood but now I get my butt off the couch and go to my class and smile because it was totally worth it.
The benefits of Crossfit and Yoga are complimentary and I need them both in my day to day. Crossfit gives me strength and endurance and Yoga allows me to stretch, concentrate, and just be during those 90 minutes of practice. The combination of these things makes me better in all that I do during my everyday shuffle. I have more energy, focus, motivation, and determination to get through my days and I look good while doing it, so all and all, a win-win in my book.
I know it’s a complete cliché but I’ve never felt better. If you’re struggling to be active just keep on trying different things because you will find what’s right for you. And I swear that once you find the activity that clicks you’ll just become that person that actually enjoys exercise instead of it being the torture session it used to be.
Have you found the perfect exercise for you? I’d love to hear what motivates you to get out the door and sweat.
In case you’re curious, here’s the gear I use:
Yoga: Lululemon The Mat
Running: Asics Nimbus 14