It just does, hands down. If you’re fit (I’m not going to worry about what specifically constitutes ‘fit’ for now), jot down just how that feels for you. Take a minute here. Think about it. If you have ever been or are unfit (not doing any regular, daily exercise), jot that down, also. Take your time. No one has to see it but you. How does that feel? How is your energy? How do you look in a full-length mirror naked to you? (Back in the 80’s in fitness we used to always use this as a gauge. It’s not mentioned much anymore). This has nothing to do with anyone but you.
In order to have something to say about not being fit, and feeling heavy and sluggish, I have to be able to speak from that. So here’s my short, little story. I hope you find it interesting, somewhat entertaining and hopefully inspiring.
I have always been fit since I was an athlete and was coached from an early age. But at 21, I was unfit and hadn’t regularly worked out in 2 years. I sort of lost sight of my fitness and my health. I wasn’t paying attention to that anymore. I was in college, and I studied, and worked. That’s it. And no the occasional backpacking trip or paddle out surfing or bodysurfing or riding my bike up the hills home from the beach with a surfboard under my arm wasn’t doing it. I was kind of in denial to say the least. These little things were always tough, too. I was always totally out of breath. But I wanted to be able to do all of the activities I loved without struggling.
Then my brother, my high school boyfriend and his friends and I went on a six week ski trip. I was the only girl, and I ate like them, anything and nothing in particular. I thought all of that skiing would suddenly get me in shape. When I got home, I couldn’t fit into my jeans. I had gained around 12 pounds. (Your jeans are always the true test if you’ve lost or gained weight, not the stretchy kind either…haha!). I remember the mirror I stood in front of. The buttons had to have been at least 4 inches apart. I didn’t like how I looked in a bikini either. The fat sort of spilled out over the sides of my bikini bottoms. Yuk.
Kicking and screaming, my girlfriends convinced me to go to this ‘Dance-Exercise’ class. ‘In a building?’ I thought. For the purpose of ‘getting fit’? No way. That did NOT appeal to me. But I wanted to be fit, to feel light, and lean, and be able to ‘eat anything’ again, and have tons of energy. I wanted that bad enough to try this silly class.
There she was, Niecie, age 35, fitter than anyone I had ever seen. She was the BOMB and 14 years older than me. Wow. I was check-done. I was going to look like her. Nothing would stop me. Nothing did. But it was a bumpy road. I would drag myself up the stairs so sore, and I would sabotage myself by binging on chocolate chip cookie dough or peanut butter. I tried running occasionally, too, but I never stopped taking her class and I never missed one. Finally, I had started to see a little, tiny bit of muscularity in my legs! Hooray! What a feeling that was. I stopped the binging finally. By six months, through the ups and downs, I was her star pupil, totally fit, weight lost, and was teaching her class for her when she needed me. Of course, I fit back into those darn jeans of mine, practically wore them out, and then cut them into cute shorts.
I will always remember how it felt to be unfit. And I will never feel or look like that again. My high school girlfriend and I opened our own fitness studio soon after that. We were both 21.