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My Fitness Journey: Morgan Couch

My fitness journey began when I suddenly found myself in a completely new environment and culture, the south. I have lived in San Diego my entire life and felt that I wanted the complete opposite for my college experience! I chose to attend The University of Alabama and have loved every minute of it.  While I have also been active and lead a healthy lifestyle, I found the change in culture and dynamics of the south really prohibited me from doing my “normal” activities.

What was most different about heading to college was that my dancing career was over. I had been dancing since the age of 5 at the same studio and loved every style from ballet to hip-hop. To me, dancing was not just a hobby on the weekends, but it was my life. I went to class almost everyday and sometimes for 4 hours at a time. I loved the stress of preparing for the recitals and especially loved the spotlight. The stage was a place I could relax and be at peace with myself and the other dancers around me. I danced at my studio with the same amazing group of girls until we all went off to college. The environment of the studio combined with the outstanding teachers and girls truly secured my love of dance and the culture. I grew up in a dance world and found it hard to go from dancing everyday in San Diego, to nothing in Alabama.

The first couple weeks of my freshman year I had no thought of working out or keeping healthy. I loved the mac and cheese, BBQ and cornbread! Of course after a few weeks of this my normally healthy body simply started feeling sluggish and tired. I decided the gym was a good bet to bring my energy up and increase activity. In theory this was a great idea except I had never been to a gym before! I stood there looking around wondering what in the world I would do and how everything worked! I had never needed to go to the gym since I was so frequently dancing and conditioning within the studio. I found that I was really overwhelmed and a little helpless because I couldn’t find a sufficient dancing opportunity and didn’t know how a gym actually worked.

What was my turning point was getting the opportunity to be on my sorority’s homecoming dance team. I made the team and we immediately went into rehearsal for the big competition. This week and a half of intense dancing brought back my drive and determination to keep active and healthy. After the dance was over I went to the gym everyday to do zumba classes or kickboxing. I found these classes allowed me to combine a little dance with intense exercise which helped my energy increase. When I came home for Thanksgiving, I met with a trainer who showed me the ins and outs of the gym so I could actually look somewhat knowledge.

I have grown to love the gym. I started going everyday at school and noticed such a difference in myself. Not only was a stronger, but also my energy was up and my mood was great! I started finding the gym a stress reliever and felt anxious if I didn’t go one day. Now that I am home for summer, that drive still is in me and I love going to the gym everyday! I take every piece of equipment as a challenge and want to see what it does and if it is effective. Interning at Fitness Quest 10 has also allowed me to be inside a culture that values health, fitness and high energy. I found that I still miss dance, but I have something to concentrate on fill its place while I am at school.

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