It was right after coming back from the Dominican Republic for my brother's wedding that I began to work out. I saw photos of my pale self in a bikini, belly hanging out, playing chicken and I thought, hmmm better fix that. So from as soon as I landed back in the good ol' USA (and had conquered my bout of food poisoning) I hit the gym.
(You bet I untagged myself from these)
When I first walked into the new redesigned Johnson Fitness Center on campus I was afraid there would be troves of sorority girls on treadmills and lax bros lifting, but they weren't all there at 10 am on a tuesday. So I popped in some headphones and brought my baggy t-shirted self over to the stair master. That's when I noticed my friend Nina there. I confessed I didn't go to the gym often (the only time I went was freshman year with my roommate. It was the only time we hung out and she was crazy athletic) and if she wouldn't mind showing me the ropes. I tagged along watching as she showed me the machines, how to use the free weights, kettle bells, crunches. We then made a pact to meet every tuesday and thursday morning that semester. And you know what, we stuck to it. My friends Sam and Karyn also slowly became my other gym buddies and I was so motivated that I was practically going everyday to the gym. By the end of the semester we were noticing that exercises that were once difficult, we were pushing even harder for and we were starting to get muscle tone.
Then school let out and I headed out to Texas to visit Gerred for two weeks. I decided I would keep the exercise and the healthy eating up while I was there and he supported me. We would head to gym on base and he like Nina would show me new moves to work different muscle groups. The next day Gerred said, "let's go for a run on the beach." I took on the challenge and turned on my Strava app and we ran from his house, across the street, and to the beach. We ran the stretch as I listened to Backstreet boys and Spice Girls. He kept me motivated when I was ready to pass out from the Texas heat, telling me to run and slap his hand. When we finished the race I saw the achievements I unlocked and how faster I raced.
When I got back home on June 1st I noticed that Strava had updated the app with challenges. The challenges all had different specifications to help motivate you and see how you stack up against competitors. Essentially this is my lonely person's gym buddy. I can run with friends anywhere they were, see the work we did and give kudos and motivation. Naturally I signed up for three challenges: The June Doogle Run, The June Doogle Bike and The Any Way 10k.
The June Doogle is essentially challenging you to run (or bike depending on the challenge) as many kilometers as you can during the month of June. So far I'm at 33km for the June Doggle run and an improperly logged 10km (it reads 0km for now) from the bike ride I did with my dad on the Piney Orchard Nature Trail.
The Any Way 10k challenges you to run a 10k as fast as you can between June 15th and June 16th. I completed this today and I'm really surprised with myself since I've never run a 10k before and I all of a sudden up and ran it. Basically I owe my completion to the entire fitness journey I've gone through since February. I got myself to the gym, on a bike, and running as fast as I can. I'm proud of myself and ready to continue on. I have lost 10 pounds since January and would love to see where I'll be by next year.
P.S. Do you guys have Strava? If you do follow me here.