The term fitness is often something we associate with the gym, sweat, workout clothing, dumbbells, barbells, and the like. You know the picture Im painting. However, I am a firm believer that fitness is so much more than simply the time spent exercisingit is a springboard to empower you as a person, and transform your life.
Bringing fitness into your life has a rippling effect that has the ability to change the world. Now this statement may sound extreme, but I say this because I have seen firsthand the power of fitness to change lives, I have lived it.
You see, I started out a runner, I was raised in a very small and remote town in Northern Canada. But I had dreams to travel and running was my ticket to this new world. At 17, I won a full NCAA Division I scholarship to a top school and running became my livelihood, my passion, a part of meI embodied that image of “fitness.” But as life has its way, four years later an injury left me unable to ever run again. To say I was devastated was an understatement, a part of me had died. I was lost. Slowly after time I decided I had to pick up the pieces of my life and get a “real job.”
I shifted my attitude, if I couldnt go to the pinnacle of the athletic world (the Olympics), Id go to the pinnacle of the corporate world (New York City) and thats exactly where I went! However within two years of all corporate life and no fitness outlet, I was miserable. I was stressed out, irritable, frustrated and just not feeling confident and happy the way I always had. I knew something needed to change, I needed to get back to feeling good again, and I knew that meant getting back into a healthy fit lifestyle, despite the fact that I could no longer run.
With all my limitations (both physical and emotional) I really had to start from the ground up, I had lost every fit muscle in my body and I knew nothing about exercise besides runningbut I started out little by little. I explored EVERY possible form of fitness from pool jogging to road cycling and dance. Through the journey I met incredible people, all with their own unique story, including some who have become my best friends. Above all, fitness allowed me to find my true self, to reinvent myself and to become a better version of myself.
I tell you this because I believe that simply preaching the benefits of fitness are simply words until one can see firsthand the power it has on life. No one said including fitness in your life is easy or always funits a challenge (isnt everything worth achieving that way?). But there is no question the benefits far outweigh any obstacles. So if you havent yet, I encourage you to make the decision to get active, it could be as small as attempting to go for a 10-15 minute brisk walk once a dayhalf the battle is getting started! You will learn more about yourself than you could get from any book or lecture and I have a feeling you will find you are much stronger than you ever thought possible.