Happy Fitness Friday! Not sure if this is the only one I’ll ever write, but the topic fit for tonight, so I have to go with the nice little title!
So much has evolved for me in the past few months. I’ve mentioned in a few posts before how I hit an almost two-year long rut after graduating college and leaving the comfort and support of my amazing gym where I spent so much time for four years. Moving on for me when I joined a new gym meant opening up again; letting people know my story, my strengths, my limitations; and being more self-motivated than I’ve ever had to be before. In 3 months, I can proudly say that I’d almost consider myself back to where I was 2 years ago physically and in an even better place than I ever was emotionally. I’ve also added 2 additional classes to my weekly workouts and tried a bunch more. I was away from the gym for 2 weeks due to a pretty serious abdominal strain, but I’ve been working my way back up since Monday. Tonight I tried a new class, Piloxing-a fusion of Pilates and Boxing, and while it wasn’t my favorite, I was so proud of myself for trying something new.
On my way home, I got to thinking how much Group Fitness (and those that I’ve created lifelong friendships with through it) has changed my life. Because of Group Fitness:
-I spend more time in the gym than I do doing anything else (with the exception of homework). Damn Graduate School.
-I get to have the amazing experience of riding a bike, even though my balance prevents me from riding one on the road.
-I have met some of my best friends (and grown closer with some family members. Love you Claud!).
-I have competed in 5 5k road races and finished every one.
-Physical therapy became fun.
-I feel like a dancer.
-I look at myself as a person-a mind, a body, and a soul-instead of Cerebral Palsy.
-I’ve learned how to modify movements and classes to make them work for me.
-I’m virtually pain-free (if you don’t count soreness and abdominal strains).
-I can look in a mirror (both during a class and elsewhere) and be okay with what I see.
-I’m actually starting to love what I see.
-I am stronger and more physically successful than any doctor ever believed I would be.
-I AM AN ATHLETE.
–I have developed a confidence in myself that I never thought I’d be able to uncover…
The strongest marker of this confidence for me is knowing that, on September 15, 2012, I will be taking a huge leap of faith when I take Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Primary Group Fitness Certification. I know this is going to be difficult for me. I’ve got the academics/studying down no problem, but the practical component is going to require continuous hard work this summer. My movements aren’t the same as everyone else’s and it sometimes takes me longer to coordinate them. I know all of this, and I’m doing it anyway. There will be hundreds of people getting certified on that day with me, most of whom will not understand how or why I’d want to put myself through the rigors of certification. I know all of this and I’m doing it anyway.
Why? Because Group Fitness gave me something I did not yet have: passion, purpose, hope. If I can get certified and help one person-with disability, injury, or just starting out at the gym for the first time-to find that too, it will all be worth it.