How Fitness Brought Me Back to Life.
By hannahvancampen on April 25, 2014
Before I start, I want to ask everyone to take a second and think about life; more specifically, think about all of the variables that are out of your control. Think about the smallest thing you wish you could change, but you can't. We can't control other people, the weather, our feelings, losing people we love, sickness.. etc. It's scary. Sometimes, it seems like life is uncontrollable, but its not. The one thing you can control is YOU. Once I figured that out, that's when my journey began.
The moment I lost my Dad, I couldn't imagine life without him. I kept thinking about how horrible the rest of my life was going to be without him in it. My family kept begging me to go to counseling, bereavement groups, or anywhere to sit and talk with other people who could relate to my situation, but that's not me. I can't be forced to do something I don't want to do. I can put a smile on during the worst of days because to me there's no point in dwelling on the pain. Unfortunately, after a few months, writing in my diary (yes, diary) was not helping as much as I thought it would, so that's when I started to think about other ways to clear my mind. After some research, I saw that exercise really helped a lot of people. At this point in my life I wasn't really exercising besides my fingers on the remote and walking to work (HA). Anyway, I thought to myself, "sure, why not?" The next day I laced up my sneakers and started running. I got about 2 blocks down the street and I was winded, but it felt good to feel ALIVE! My blood was pumping, I was blasting my music and I was enjoying getting lost in the run. After that, I signed up for some yoga classes, which really helped me clear my mind and learn how to relax during stressful moments. Yoga helped teach me to ground myself and calm my mind when all I wanted to do is run away with my thoughts.
As the summer started to fade away and the cold weather came upon us, I started to do workouts in my room before work, while still doing yoga once or twice a week. I started to see minimal changes in my body, but my mind was changing rapidly and I was happy; finally! As I continued my weekly yoga I noticed my body was starting to allow me to do more advanced poses, which I loved! That's when it clicked. I just spent the past two/three months reviving myself, fixing my mind and learning to enjoy life again. I decided from that moment on I was going to push harder, change my eating and start to really take care of myself. I realized that I can't control a lot of things in life, but one thing I can control is what I put into my body and how I treat it. My Dad died from a heart attack, which is a reason in itself to take care of myself, but the satisfaction you get from bettering your mind and your body is riveting. It continuously gives you something to strive for. There will always be another goal to reach, a heavier weight, a new technique to try; I love it.
I am not the type to speak about fitness and transformation because it is WAY outside of my comfort zone. People judge others everyday, but if I can inspire someone or inspire the most important person, myself, that's enough for me. Looking at my life I have always been up and down with my weight, but right before my Dad passed and after I really let myself go. I'm not saying I was obese, but I just wasn't where I have been in the past, or where I felt comfortable in my own skin. I have tried plans in the past (listed below), but I wasn't ready to jump in full force. I would get bored, I wouldn't want to go back, or I felt intimidated during the classes. Now, I have such a drive to reach my goals and push myself harder, that I don't care if I don't do well in a class, or if I feel intimidated. We have to relish in the fact that we are showing up and we are ready to work! I recently started up Crossfit and I have officially become a groupie. Yup, I'm obsessed. It's exciting to work really hard with a group of people, cheering each other on and being apart of a "fitness family." It's a wonderful feeling to know that people are rooting for you, when it's so easy to let someone fail and give up. Crossfit is competitive, but it's also a place to get rid of your fears because even if you're a beginner you will keep progressing in each class. I have already seen minimal changes in my endurance and strength after only two months. Lately, I have been keeping track of all of my goals, so when I reach them, it's an amazing feeling. Another thing that has helped me is having such amazing motivators in my life. I can't even tell the people who inspire me, how much I appreciate them and their motivation and determination because it makes me want to do better.