September has made it!
I know people say that Labor Day marks the ‘end of summer’, but I don’t see it that way. After all, it seems like summer just began!
One of my favorite parts of summer is exercising outdoors. I love that the sun is up early in the morning when I run and is out later in the evening. It is refreshing being able to get out of my office and apartment to spend time in the fresh air and getting a tan. The downside? The smell of fresh doughnuts at local grocery stores in the morning and grills fired up in the evening. Pick your poison.
One of the newest ‘adventures’ I embraced this summer was teaching an outdoor boot camp class in Jefferson. I never really viewed myself as the epitome of a classic boot camp instructor (yelling at participants to correct their push-up form after seemingly doing hundreds of them), but I thought “hey, I’ll give it a try. What’s another fitness class? Should be easy enough!”
I remember my first night of teaching, shaking throughout the entire hour-long class. Here, I had taught 8-10 classes per week for 3 years and now I was standing in front of a group of 12 and couldn’t formulate a sentence. The hour dragged, it was hot outside, the exercises were hard, and I couldn’t wait for it to be done. I remember getting in my car, humbled, and feeling completely deflated and like a failure. I woke up the next day with a few new aches and pains and wasn’t sure if this was for me.
The next week came around and I was bound and determined to make a better impression and to have fun. You know what? That’s exactly what I did and I was more at ease. The class was better and I smiled the entire time. I woke up with less pain the day after and realized I could do it and that I would be ok.
Flash forward 3 months and I’m teaching boot camp 3x a week and now am a bit hooked. I love the challenge and have become stronger mentally and physically because of it. The class was completely out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I attempted something different and found a new love.
I think many people share a similar experience when they try a new exercise class or embrace a new exercise program. They may not come in as cocky as I did, however, they may have different expectations or wake up the day after and go “Holy *&#%, I didn’t know I had muscles there!”, which could be a deterrent for the next class or week ahead.
Like any lifestyle change, it will take a few weeks and some potential setbacks before it becomes a habit. Setting goals and making a plan is a way to envision where you see your life going and the steps it will take to make the changes necessary. It may be a good idea to include family, friends, or a significant other in your plan to keep you accountable or to have them join in your efforts. I know class for me is MUCH more fun when my friends are there and I have someone ‘waiting’ on me. It all may be challenging and may not feel comfortable, but keep at it!
I think it’s of utmost importance to prioritize the steps you need to take in order to make your goals a reality. This could include meal prep, exercise time or joining a class, grocery shopping, and even time to unwind and recover. Make time in your calendar and schedule to ensure nothing will get in the way. For some individuals, this may be more of a challenge with kids, spouses, sports schedules, and laundry, but it is possible when you make it a priority and set your mind to it. The results will not be handed to you; YOU have to be the one to earn every pound lost and make the commitment to yourself.
Stepping out of our comfort zone with exercise is one way to challenge the body and push it to a level that will give it a jump start and eventually produce results. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy new running shoes and go for a 10 mile run or jump into an advanced boot camp class, but you need to be able to expect to work to see the results you want. I can promise it will be worth it and you may even find a new passion.
Until next time!