How I *finally* learned to love working out
No one is born loving working out. Even me–the girl who now freaks if I don’t get to the gym at least four times a week–can tell you firsthand that there are days when I’d much rather lay in bed and drown myself in New Girl episodes than hit the weight room. Growing up I was always inclined to be athletic: I played soccer since I was 7 and volleyball throughout both middle and high school. But when it came to preseason workouts, oh you could definitely count me out.
For my soccer girls out there, you know all too well that the sport can be extremely physically demanding. In order to get my body ready for the spring season, I tried everything to find some shred of motivation to get right. I found YouTube workouts, tried 30 day ab challenges, watched Netflix while doing 20 minutes on the elliptical...I even commissioned my little sister to be my personal trainer. Nothing worked.
I made it through my senior year soccer season unscathed, but without daily training that forced me to get into some kind of physical condition, I was back to square one. I knew that upon entering college a drastic change would have to be made.
What people don’t tell you is that when you get to college you’re going to have a lot of free time. You don’t really know anyone, if you go to a school outside of your hometown you barely know your surroundings and so you end up turning into a bit of a hermit. I realized that this was the perfect time to force myself out of my comfort zone. The rec center at my school was less than a 5 minute walk from my dorm room so there were no longer any excuses not to work out. After math class, I walked to the gym, headphones, towel and water bottle in tow.
I started off simple. I would do 30 minutes on the elliptical catching up on my shows and then google a Pinterest ab workout to follow my cardio. After I got into that routine, it was time to up the ante a bit more. I did 15 minutes on the elliptical and then did another 15 on the bike. I found some arm and leg workouts online and began working on other parts of my body. It took me some time to find my rhythm but I challenged myself to go to the gym three days a week and each time I would push myself to do a little bit more, try a different workout or go on a different machine.
If we’re being honest, I tricked myself into loving the gym. I created a routine and developed a dependency on going to the gym. Since freshmen year it’s safe to say that I have gotten way busier than I was when I first started school. I went from having all the time world to work out to searching for a free hour in the day. The gym became my escape, the one time in the day where I could zone out to my favorite music and work on myself. I fell in love with the feeling of accomplishment after lifting more than I ever head and I oddly loved being completely out of breath after sprinting on the treadmill. I even took pleasure in the next day soreness.
There is no formula for getting into the gym life. The most important thing to know is that you are in control of your own body and what you want to accomplish in terms of your personal wellness goals. If you do choose to take that step my best advice is to you is to go at your own pace but do not be afraid to challenge yourself. Self-motivation is a powerful thing. Don’t let it go to waste.
How did you learn to love exercising? Share below!
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