Two years ago today I created a separate Instagram account dedicated to fitness so that I wouldn’t annoy my friends with pictures of every meal and weekly progress updates. I wanted to hold myself accountable and knew that a public assertion would help me commit to a lifestyle change. I can think of a hundred different things I wanted to change about myself at the time. Reflecting back, I can proudly say that I met goals, but I also missed some and tossed others aside. What I’ve learned is this: You know the picture that depicts what the path to success actually looks like? The one that looks like a four year old took a pen to paper and just went crazy? It couldn’t be more true. When I first saw that image, I assumed it was just the story of somebody who was disorganized. I thought I could come up with a step by step guide that would bring me the perfect body and therefore happiness.
It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that health shouldn’t be a defense against life. Your workout routine and dietary preferences should complement your lifestyle, not control it. This concept was harder to grasp when my goals were aesthetic driven. Let it be known that just because someone looks in shape, doesn’t mean they are. And vice versa. I once envied the girl that didn’t have to work out, could eat whatever she wanted and still rock a bikini. While I am still a wee bit jealous of some girls genetic make-up, I have a new found respect for the women who work for it. So what am I working for? Well I’m currently less than a month away from my first Tough Mudder. For those who don’t know, it’s a 10-12 mile obstacle course that has some seriously ridiculous challenges. Needless to say, this will be a real testament as to whether the pretty little muscles I’ve built are fully functioning and capable of getting me to the finish line. There is undoubtedly a new level of intensity in my workouts knowing what is at stake. I’m not trying to break records, I’m just trying to prepare as much as possible for the inevitable brutality.
If you find yourself in a rut, and I’m not just referring to fitness, I urge you to sign up for something you currently consider “beyond your capabilities.” We all have ‘down the line’ goals. Things we want to accomplish in the distant future. Sign up – mentally commit – send out an email declaring your ambitions and I promise it will motivate you to take the first step. The very second I said yes to the Tough Mudder, the wheels were set in motion. I’ve continuously declared my hatred for long distance running, but I’ve recently started to dare I say….enjoy it!? Point is that my journey took a left turn (or a loop) and I’m more than happy about it.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”
In my opinion, early twenties are all about growth. Rather than restrict myself to hobbies I used to enjoy, I’m loving the idea of trying new things and testing my boundaries. And let me tell you, between training for the mudder and my Portuguese classes, growth is inevitable.