From couch potato to fitness lover.

fitnessI have to admit that I have never been a very sporty person when I was younger. I mean, sure, I practiced gymnastics for a year when I was about 10, but I quickly gave up because of a bad fall on the beam during a competition. I then decided to try modern jazz dancing, which was nice. However, I decided to quit too after three years of practice because of the severity of the teacher towards the end of each year for our show. Besides that, I had to practice sports through school, which made me try handball, basketball, running, judo, climbing and swiming among other things.

While I liked some of those activities, I never thought of myself as the kind of girl doing much sports during her free time. I was always busy doing something else and considered my time too precious to be preoccupied with working out. I just did not see what good it could bring me: it made much more sense to me to take pleasure from watching – for the hundredth time – an episode of Friends than from going for a run (especially outside, when it is windy or rainy, uh ! Who’s got time for that ?). And I reckon I was not the only one.

However, the thought of trying to be healthier and fitter made its way up to my mind and I progressively was able to ease myself into the habit of working out (kind of) regularly around one and a half year ago. I never thought it would be possible after years and years of resolutions about trying to be “healthier” or “fitter”. But it happened. I became dragged to fitness and sports in general. I was in Cardiff the year it happened (more about that in another future post), and decided to join a gym to motivate myself to go. Indeed, I had so much free time that year (only about 10h of lectures per week) that had I let myself be a couch potato all year long, I would have known all the Friends episodes by heart. The temptation not to go workout at first is always strong : the gym was 15ish minutes away from my flat, and let’s just say that in Cardiff the weather is hardly mild with you. In addition, arriving to this massive gym with machines everywhere and fitness and body-building nuts scattered around the place was really intimidating. I had no idea what I was doing there. But the first session was enough to convinced me : sports could be my thing after all !

The more you like an activity, the more fun it is for you – at least for me – to try to find more information on it. Therefore I managed to gain more experience in the gym (what to do, what not to do) while surfing on the internet, which in turn enabled me to maintain my interest at a rather high degree. I discovered YouTube channels dedicated to fitness, blogs giving tips to have a better workout and instagram accounts that were truly inspirational… A real community ! In fact, this made me aware that I had always thought being sporty was not my thing because I had always associated sports with group activities, especially outside. But working out alone, with my music, or even with someone doing the same thing next to me yet without needing my contirbution was what I needed. No football, no basketball, no handball for me, I am in fact all about climbing, circuit trainings, running, swimming… And buying some cute workout clothes surely helped to motivate myself to go !

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Getting informed and trying new things was key for me to form this new habit, and to make it durable. Today, I try to work out between 3 and 5 days a week. I bought a coupon for 20 sessions at a gym only 6 minutes away from my flat which made me discover spinning and cardioboxing (if you don’t know what those are, I suggest you check it out asap! They are amazing!) Otherwise, I try to go for a run once a week, which is especially nice to do alongside the Garonne when it is sunny, and I work out at home too by doing circuit trainings for 30 to 45 minutes. I now work out not to be healthier, even if it is a corrollary, but to feel better. I love pushing myself to do more, and see the results. Moving your butt is a great way to evacuate stress, to unwind after a bad day or even to be more energized. I cannot count the times when I was feeling grumpy after a bad day, or when I stayed all day in my pyjamas doing nothing but procrastinating using Netlfix, and when working out gave me that positive shot of energy and happiness. It really can turn your day around, especially when you start seeing your performances getting better !

You can become your own source of inspiration, so play an episode, or a newly created playlist : it is time to move your body ! If you thought working out was not for you, this is the proof you just have to know yourself better. Working out is not supposed to be a pain, it is a pleasure. It is not a nagging daily task to accomplish, it is a lifestyle. So just do it.

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