Expansion of Strength vol. 1: Exercise Person

Along with writing (and a great many other things) another area that I’ve often had trouble getting into and forming habits in is exercise. I am 28 years old and for most of my life I have identified as non-athletic and a non-exerciser. I would take a weird pride in the fact that I was (am) bad at sports and that I never exercised. Yet sometime in college, as I’m sure many do, I started thinking that I should probably, at some point, when I can get my motivation up, start exercising. I think I made it to the campus gym, on average, once a year for all five years of my time there (and that might be too generous). I walked everywhere, that seemed like enough to me. I was firmly still the girl who did not work out (that brief week and a half I stuck with ‘Insanity’ was painful).

I don’t think it really got into my head that most healthy people worked out until I started my first job. I was at a big consulting company with tons of other young people. Many of whom seemed very health-conscious and to have a love of working out, at least to some degree. This was so incongruous to me when I tried it on, could I be a person than actually enjoyed physical activity in that way? Sure I liked hiking or taking leisurely walks but enjoy actually pushing my body? That had never been something I enjoyed or wanted to go back to. I remembered back to my middle school basketball days of suicides and leg lifts. None of those memories made it something I wanted to revisit. But here I was at a demanding job, living back at home with my parents and I started thinking that a physical outlet might be nice.

Goodness knows I had no idea what I was doing when it came to working out. I had always been ‘the girl who didn’t exercise.’ I think that’s why I gravitated to and settled on Yoga. I could think about yoga and reconcile it better with my identity as a calm, low-energy person (shout out to fellow Enneagram 9s out there) than a spin class or a kick-boxing boot camp. So I trolled Groupon for a few evenings and found a deal for a hot yoga class. That first class was brutal! My body was screaming at me but oddly enough I also felt good! The more I went, I started feeling powerful and healthier just by being someone who does yoga (although I’m sure actually doing it once or twice a week helped too).

Unfortunately, because of the physical intensity and my lack of knowledge, I ended up hurting myself doing it. After awhile my knee was bothering me a lot and with that and a move to an apartment further away from the studio, I fell out of the habit. I’ve gone periodically to other places since then but really haven’t gotten back on the horse.

Which brings me here to January 2017. I have two resolutions to carry out ‘Expansion’ in the physical sense (more to come later). In order to be healthier, stronger, and feel better about my body I resolve to:
1) Go to the gym at least 3 times a week
2) Go to yoga at least once a week (for a total of 3 times a month)

I want these to turn into more yoga at home as well but I think starting relatively small with this will allow me to build and not expect too much of myself at once. Hopefully with these, resolutions I can expand my identity and become ‘a person who exercises regularly.’

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