Athlete…Active… These were always words I used to define myself, until one day, before I knew it, they were not relevant anymore. To understand my fitness journey I have to start at the beginning.
I grew up in a cul-de-sac neighborhood. There was only one way in and one way out; the perfect place for a kid to play outside everyday and that’s exactly what I did. My friends and I would ride bikes, play cops and robbers, stay outside till sundown, and for a kid, this was the perfect way to stay fit. Then came soccer.
I was six years old when I played in my first soccer game and fell in love. To be able to run outside and be a part of a team, it was the perfect sport for me. My mom saw how much I liked it and started volunteering with AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) so I could spend more time at the soccer field. As I got older, I began to ref games, set up and tear down the goals, and coach the game I loved.
Then high school came with more opportunities and teams to play for. I was lucky and got to play on the JV and Varsity squad as a freshman in high school. At the same time I was on a travel team, which meant from 1:30pm to 4:00pm I was at one practice and from 5:00pm to 6:30pm another Monday thru Friday with games on Sunday. The great thing about being a teenager and working out to the extent that I was, is that I could eat whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, when I got to college, I had hurt my knee one too many times to be able to play at that level. In essence, my activity level changed but my eating habits did not. I was lucky, though; no change in weight or body size, but there were major changes on the horizon I could not see happening. That was until I came to Fitness Quest.
I started working at Fitness Quest 10 after my second year in college. I will never forget the first class I took; it was with Jeff King on a Tuesday. I will never forget the way I felt after. When he asked about my fitness level I told him I was in great shape because I looked like it. I had no idea how deceiving that was. I struggled through the entire class, lifting a 15 pound weight was hard, shuttle runs were difficult, the warm up killed me. That’s when I realized I was not an athlete or active anymore; I was just out of shape. Those were things I did not want to admit. So I didn’t work out in fear of someone finding out I could not do a lot of the exercises.
As time went on I saw all the clients coming into work and they inspired me to try again. I would see the way clients felt after they were done working out and they loved it, they felt great; I wanted that feeling. Right around that time we hired Charleston who was an intern for us during summer. He was looking for more practice and asked if we could train together. I was nervous to start; I didn’t want anyone to see how little I could do. The first workout I felt dead, but he motivated me to keep trying. Each workout after that I felt a little less sore. I still did not love it, but I knew it was something I needed to do. Eventually he introduced me to weight training. When I played soccer we never touched a weight, but I loved the way I felt after. I felt strong and accomplished like I was an athlete all over again.
When I started out my goal was to do 1 good pushup. Now I can do 5 (not a lot but a huge difference for me). I can power clean, and I can deadlift!
Throughout my journey I learned not to let the fear of failing hold me back from trying. I was scared I would not be in the shape I once was so I didn’t want to try. But now I feel better than I ever have!