with the new year in front of us, i thought it would be the perfect time to share my fitness journey with you.
in the past, working out was never a priority to me. it was probably because i was younger and was given a good metabolism from my parents. every time that i did try to work out, it was painful--both physically and mentally. i tried the elliptical, other machines, and it always felt so mind-numbing, like a hamster running on a wheel... afterwards even if it was a short work out (uh... 20 minutes?!) i would feel like i got run over by a truck the next day. i was so out of shape, of course i didn't realize this until later.
for the past two years, i have done pilates religiously. my sister (who is insanely fit and always trying new types of work outs) introduced it to me. i remember my first class, i did not think i would survive, i kept thinking what is this?, you want me to do what?, and when is this going to end? the next day... wow. it hurt to talk, move, breathe. (ok, maybe a little exaggeration). but i kept going. i wanted to get better and i loved the idea of group classes, the music, the energy, and more importantly the amazing instructor. i believe that a great experience always begins with someone who is extremely passionate in what they do. that was the case here. pilates changed my life for the better. i look forward to every single class, it's the best part of my day. i can't imagine my future without it. no matter what i'm feeling, i can always count on a pilates class to lift my mood. it's my happy place that no one can ever take away from me, and it'll never let me down. i go to it three or four times a week to stay sane. it has become my way of life. even though i have been doing this for more than two years, i am no expert. there are still advanced moves i cannot do in full, but when i look back, i've come such a long way. on days when i'm hard on myself, my sister always reminds me, "remember when you first started going and you couldn't even touch your toes?!" we laugh.
so what is pilates? it was invented by Joseph Pilates. it focuses on building your powerhouse (aka your core). without it we wouldn't be able to do a lot of things so it is extremely important to have a strong core (front and back). it has helped me tremendously with my horrible posture. a lot of people also turn to pilates to alleviate back pain since back pain usually stems from not having a strong enough core.
i love pilates mat so much that i supplement it with pilates reformer. reformer is hard-core, because... it will give you just that.. a hard-core (haha, i couldn't resist). it is pilates on a machine that uses resistance to give you a full body work out. it is such a huge challenge for me, i'm always completely beat afterwards but with the most amazing feeling. call me crazy. but i'm addicted. my goal one day is to teach pilates reformer on the weekends for FUN. it's a stretch, but one day... i'll get there. i am so passionate about it and that is half the battle!
it would also be remiss if i did not mention Cassey Ho of Blogilates in this post. i had the pleasure of meeting her this past December and wow... what an amazing, kind-hearted, and inspiring individual. she is a YouTube sensation, designs her own active wear line anddd.... is launching her own brand of pilates across the nation at 24hr fitness, known as POPpilates! i love her. she constantly provides the most positive energy and motivation--it's infectious. check out her website. she also has monthly meal plans and work out schedules! the woman is a machine. i don't know how she does it!
find out what works for you. try different work outs, studios, and instructors. i've tried different studios and classes. i've found that i can't do a class without some heart pumping music. once, i attended a pilates mat class that was done with only the instructors voice, that was the longest 60 minutes of my life. i do have a favorite instructor that i see on a regular basis, but sometimes it doesn't work with my schedule, so i see others. it is a hit or miss but you have to give other instructors a try. from this i've learned to appreciate the different personalities and styles of teaching. even when i go out of town, i find a pilates studio to go to. i'm that crazy.
it's a journey, so be patient with yourself. try not to compare yourself to others and remember that change does not happen overnight. the point of my story it to encourage you to find the work out that makes you happy. the one that makes you leave feeling that you can't wait to come back and do it all over again. only then will it feel like you're not just fulfilling a new year's resolution, and it won't feel like work to get to the finish line or lose xx amount of pounds. do it because you love it and how it makes you feel afterwards. work hard, set goals, always challenge yourself, and never give up.