I grew up in the city. I don’t remember being a really physically active child. I have memories of a rhythmic sports gymnastics class I loved when I was in Kindergarten, but I think that’s where the happy memories end. I have bits and pieces of memories here and there from elementary school:
- of being happy when the P.E. teacher offered a passing grade just for touching the rope when it came to rope climbing
- of falling on my back in a gymnastics routine because I didn’t curve my back and bend my knees enough, I remember having difficulty breathing but not telling anyone I felt so ashamed
- of falling off the balance beam and never wanting to do gymnastics again (did I, I don’t remember, I could ask my mom… She’s reading this, she reads everything I write, gotta love moms <3 )
- of being really terrible at those competition drills, slowing the whole team down
- of these neon leggings being really popular (am I aging myself here? haha) but the one I got was textured and the ones the popular girls had were not so even though I had a pair I was still an outsider
- of hating to change into my P.E. clothes
- of hating P.E.
Then being exempt from middle school on came to the rescue. I did not have to go to P.E. again!!! I was supposed to do special exercises to strengthen my back, but that was lame. So I ran happily not having to go to P.E. which was usually either first or last period.
I remember getting a REALLY COOL bike, even kids from other classes came up to check it out (we all lived really close to each other), and I remember thinking “yeah, I’m cool”, even if for only 15 minutes. I don’t really have many memories of riding that bike. I did I’m sure because I know how to ride a bike, but those memories are buried for some reason.
Then in high school our P.E. classes were on a rotational basis, basketball, pingpong, swimming, etc. I didn’t really like those either and I think I was exempt for a good part of those.
I remember my friend asking me to go to a step class with her to check out this really cute trainer guy. So I did. And I was terrible at step. I stepped left when everyone else stepped right, I got on the step bench when everyone else got off. I was so bad at it that the trainer came up to me at the end and told me to go to a practice class first. #devastated #embarrassed #I don’t care I’m just here to check you out #but you really hurt my feelings.
Boom. Then something changed in college and I started going to group exercise classes. The gym was close, I found an instructor I loved (then I found more) and I felt great. And looked good too, though I’ll argue now that it was easy back then – being 18, no kids, no responsibilities, no real stress….
Then I moved to the California when I was 22. I did what I call gym hopping for a while but did not find a class I liked and I was completely lost with the machines in the gym room. So no working out for me again, the only difference was now I had back pain. Very severe, movement limiting back pain.
See, all those years when I was exempt from P.E. and skipped the special exercises took their toll. My back was very weak.
Then one very early morning as I was taking a shower before heading out to my Marine Biology class, I saw an infomercial for Turbo Jam. It had a 30 day money guarantee and I thought to myself, why not? It looked fun, it’s a dancy-kickboxy kinda program, why not? Right? If I don’t like it I’ll just send it back.
And that’s when everything changed. Took me long enough to get to this point, right? But see, that’s the whole point behind this post. If I only shared what came after, or even the years after (and by that I mean having our first daughter 6 years later), I would be another “highlight reel” story. But that’s not what I am.
I should mention that I had a personal trainer as well for one semester while in college at CSUF. And I loved every minute of it, my limits were pushed, my body changed, my mindset changed. But that wasn’t sustainable for me. Especially not after having our first child…
Working out at home literally changed my life. My favorite class started whenever I wanted it to start. No drive time to and from the gym, no fighting for my favorite spot (I’m a person of habit and I like to park in the same spot, which I know is not really that safe…). I didn’t have to brush my teeth before (I hate doing that before breakfast, haha). I was having fun! My back pain was gone, I was getting stronger, healthier, fitter.
I wasn’t a “highlight reel” yet though. I had bought P90X but was too scared to try it. I tried Rockin’ Body, Hip Hop Abs, ChaLean Extreme, Turbo Fire, Insanity, but not P90X. That changed when I had our first daughter. I needed something to kick my booty in shape. And P90X did just that.
Another thing I added was Shakeology. Drinking it daily helps me control my sweet cravings, it packs superfoods and antioxidants and so many goodies in one shake a day that it’s just my go-to snack in the afternoon.
Am I a “highlight reel” today? Well, I’ll tell you I feel pretty badass completing tough routines like P90X3, Body Beast, CoreDeForce, The Master’s Hammer and Chisel at the moment. I can do things I’ve never even dreamt off. Scissor push-ups, plyo push-ups, pull-ups, burpees…
But that’s not where I started.
Comparison is the thief of joy
It’s a journey. And the only journey that matters is yours. Your only competition is the person you were yesterday. The way you talk to yourself makes a huge difference. Do not compare yourself to other people’s highlight reel. It will just make you feel insecure. Yes we love to share the pretty selfie, the push-ups, the delicious looking food.
Those selfies? Edited. Perfectly lit. In many cases with makeup.
Those push-ups? Not day 1. Not day 2. Maybe not even day 50.
Those food pictures? Edited. Arranged, rearranged and rearranged again, maybe a 100 times. Perfectly lit.
Highlight reel. We all have it, occasionally. And we share that occasional. But that’s not reality, not all of it.
You’re unique, you’re special, you’re awesome.
So am I. It took me years to feel this way and I don’t feel this way every day.
This is my story. Not finished, always a work in progress.
What’s your story?