Up until about 6 years ago I would have never thought that exercise would be such an important part of my life. Initially I joined a gym with a friend to tone up and lose a little weight for my wedding (original I know), but somewhere along the line I got hooked. This change in lifestyle coincided with one of the busiest periods of my life, I was finishing my Marketing Degree, working massive hours as a Wedding Coordinator and planning my own wedding. Between the late night study, assignments, split days off and appointments for the "big day", I shouldn't have had time to scratch myself let alone get to a gym, but in reality, it went a long way to saving my sanity and helping me deal with the pressure.
Once my fitness had reached a level I was confident with, I decided to take on the Boot Camp classes that run at a nearby beach. This group were elite athletes! I struggled to get through each class and particularly loathed "running days" as I would be far, far behind most of the group gasping for air and cursing my burning legs. But the results were undeniable, not just physically where I suddenly had definition and muscle tone in areas I never thought possible, but the spiritual awakening was quite profound.
I would start the session questioning what had possessed me to get up in the dark to run along a cold beach and get covered in sand, grass and dirt. By the end of the class I was refreshed, alert and riding on a wave of satisfied exhaustion, I knew that in 1 short hour I had fueled my body to achieve success for the rest of the day. The location certainly had an impact too...
Something I discovered after all these workouts was that my mind benefited from being forced to focus on the task at hand, I had no choice but to put everything else on my to-do list aside as it was all I could do to keep up with what my body was being asked to do. That focus had a flow-on effect to every aspect of my life, I felt I was running at maximum speed while others were still waiting for their second cup of coffee to kick in.
After a rather long hiatus for pregnancy and enjoying my life with a new baby, my husband could see that being a new mother was overwhelming me and I needed some space and time to myself, a way to reconnect with the old me I thought had vanished. It started slowly, but that 1 hour each week was once again a chance to clear my head and I always came home filled with renewed enthusiasm.
I am happy to say that exercise is once again an important part of my life, I don't make as many classes as I used to, but it gives me a balance and familiarity that helps me live each day positively and purposefully.