Bare with me here, I promise I’m going somewhere with this post. If you don’t already know from my other post rants, I used to teach Zumba. At some point I stopped teaching Zumba and I started my own class I called cardio dance. Everyone joked that my class should have been called extreme cardio dance because it was super high intensity and we would incorporate moves like jump squats, burpees, lunges, and even take breaks for tricep extensions and push-ups. I’m telling you, it was intense, but it was fun! That hour went by so fast and I made up the moves so I knew every move by heart. I would often be having a conversation with one of the other regulars, smiling, laughing, or encouraging people in the mirror. You see dancing was so easy. I built up endurance to last the whole hour, it was my happy place.
Then I stopped teaching because my gym cut out all classes but spin (which I now teach). It’s been two years since I’ve taught a dance class and let me tell you a secret. I turned on my old playlist last night and it was hard. Not only did I forget some of the moves, but I didn’t have the same endurance. The moves I used to do with ease suddenly required me to twist and contort my body in ways it hasn’t moved in years. I realized, I am de-conditioned. Which is an interesting thought to me since back then I probably couldn’t lift as much weight as I can now or run as far as I can now, my body was conditioned for this type of movement 2-4 times a week. And now – after 20 minutes I wanted to fall on the floor and die. I’m just sayin.
So how does this relate to fitness? Fitness is a journey. At first it’s really hard. But then you start to get the hang of it, kind of like when you finally figure out how to move your body in salsa dancing. Then you start enjoying it, and exploring new ways to exercise, or in my case, I really wanted to learn how to belly dance. Then you find ways to make it more intense, hence my extreme dance class. But then you fall off the wagon and you forget… all the moves. You forget how fun those activities were. Now everything is hard again and we start all over.
Why do I make this analogy? I think everyone assumes that people that are in shape have always been in shape, and that they have some sort of super human or extra special power (genes) that makes them better at exercise than others. I want to tell you, the only thing that person in shape has different than others is they got past the hard part by pushing themselves. They are in the part of the journey when you try to make it more interesting, or make it more intense, since they are always looking for a new way to be engaged and enthusiastic about fitness.
I often laugh at myself. The days I drag my butt up the stairs to do a 15 minute killer HIIT workout even though the last thing I want to do is keep exercising. This from the girl that was chronically overweight as a child, never played sports and almost failed the Presidential Fitness Test in High School because I couldn’t
runwalk a mile fast enough. From the girl that picked up the nasty habit of smoking at age 15. Yeah, who would have thought I would love fitness so much. Well not me. But you know what, it’s all about attitude. When I quit smoking I decided I was going to become a healthier version of me. And I’ve never looked back. It was never about being skinnier, muscular or to weight a certain amount on a scale. All I wanted was to be the healthiest version of me possible, and I will continue to strive for this goal in my fitness journey.
What about you?
- Do you have a fitness routine that you used to think was easy but now is SOOO HARD?
- Why do you workout?
- Why don’t you workout?