With a 4th grader on the spectrum, a career as a Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Lead Instructor for two different Boutique Pilates studios, I have tons of excuses to skip exercise. But exercise has saved my life. It is now a welcome necessity.
A Brief History
Growing up, I was a notoriously nonathletic child. I was diagnosed with asthma and allergies before I learned to walk. Pair my breathing issues with a total lack of coordination, and sports greatness was never one of my dreams. Fast forward through high school and college, during which I spent nearly a decade getting by on a high metabolism and skinny genetics and doing less than two workouts a year. Pause at my early twenties, the years in which my high metabolism started slowing down. After gaining fifteen pounds in a year, I started obsessively attaching myself to an elliptical for forty-five minutes a day. Weekends, too. No exceptions. And I started limiting myself to less than 1000 calories a day. Crash dieting and obsessive cardio. Keys to losing weight, right? My obsession ended when I got pregnant, then had my son. Postpartum hormones had me too tired to do anything but work, take care of my son and devour anything salty and starchy I could grab. In the years that followed, I tried working out off and on, but nothing really stuck. Life would get in the way.
Gym Class Zero to A Life in Fitness
Now let's fast-forward to the current day. I have been a Personal Trainer for six years and a Pilates Instructor for three years. Fitness has truly become my life. A lot of people assume it's easy to stay at the gym after training sessions, do a mile or two on the treadmill and lift some weights. Truth? There are days when I can't get out of the gym quick enough! The nervous energy of people trying to crush their fitness goals clogs the air. My workouts are often interrupted by some (keyword: some) pompous trainers and their unsolicited advice. After a long day on my feet, it is nearly impossible to resist the constant pull of my amazing family and my soft, comfy couch. So why do I work out? Exercise keeps me alive. In the past several years, I have used my asthma inhaler less than ten times. Do you believe it? Me, the asthmatic kid! Pilates has increased my lung capacity. My anxiety and depression levels are at record lows. (My therapist does regular tests.) A consistent exercise schedule keeps my nerves in check. Gym time is me time. I take the focus off of the lovely responsibilities in my life and put it on me. When I'm squatting, I stop obsessing about all my future plans. When I'm jamming to a Missy playlist on the elliptical, I'm letting go of my "need" to constantly be in control. The time is worth it. I rest easier. I'm way sweeter with friends and family. I can fully appreciate my life.