There are two ways that this story can start off.
The first way is one of great achievements. I was four years old, and I wanted to join the swim team. I was technically too young to join the swim team, but when I managed to keep up with the six year olds in the qualification practice session… they didn’t really have a choice but to let me in.
The second way is one of great frustration. I was five years old and my mother had signed me up for ballet lessons. I hated ballet with a passion. In fact, I hated it so much that I physically felt ill every time we walked down the stairs to the studio. My stomach managed to actually ache during every session, so eventually my mom just gave up and let me quit.
Now, it’s obvious to say that I took the swimming path rather than the ballet path. I swam competitively for a few years, quit for a while, returned to it for a couple of years and quit again. I actually broke quite a few records at my winter pool and my summer pool, but gave it all up when I decided that jumping into cold water every day wasn’t really my jam.
Swimming has been the foundation of any of my athleticism. I returned to it in high school, quit again, then returned to it in university, then quit again, then returned to it briefly post-education to only just quit again. It is something I absolutely love doing, but getting my butt into a bathing suit when it is minus 30 degrees outside always manages to break any positive swimming habits I form when it was plus 30 degrees out. If you live in a cold wintery city, you can probably relate.
That’s when spinning started to gain appeal. I joined my local gym when I got my first professional job and became quite an avid spin class attendee. You know you’re a regular when the instructor knows your name. I alternated spinning with swimming, and very occasionally some treadmill sessions. I even signed up for a ballet class (turns out I still hate it).
This was probably the fittest I had been in a long time – this was back in 2013.
I then proceeded to go on a backpacking trip to Asia, Europe and South America for a combined two years away from ‘normal life’. I tried to keep active – I swear I did. I went for a few runs in China until I fractured my foot, I learned Muay Thai in Thailand until I twisted my knee, I did spinning in Bolivia until I got an intestinal parasite and I went for a few more runs in India until I got another intestinal parasite. Day-to-day life was highly inactive – cheap taxis, high humidity and group travel meant that there was a lot more ‘sitting in taxis’ than walking around cities. I gained a LOT of weight. I also got really sick during my travels, but that is for another fun post!
Returning to Montreal much larger and much more out-of-breath proved to be a block in my fitness motivation. Signing up for gyms didn’t seem to do the trick. I spent some time on treadmills, did a few laps in the pool, and then life got busy and the fitness component dropped out of the picture.
Now, in 2017 I can proudly say that I am ready to start focusing on my fitness again. Fitness is important to me because I want to be around for a long time, and I don’t want to be limited in mobility as I get older. Fitness is important because I want to be able to explore mountains or temples or monuments when I travel without struggling up the stairs. Fitness is important to me because I feel my best when I know my heart is working at its best and when I know my insides are becoming healthier and stronger. Fitness is important to me and I finally have the drive to make it a priority in my life again. It took a while, but I got my groove back!
So what are my fitness goals?
I’m hoping to participate in a Sprint Triathlon in September 2017, which means 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. This means that my fitness routine will consist mostly of those three sports – swim, bike, run. You can see more of my info from my New Year’s Resolution post! I know it is already March and I’m behind in my schedule but I think I can make it happen. A goal wouldn’t be a goal if it wasn’t a bit challenging, right?
I’m super curious to hear about all of your fitness journeys! Has it been easy? Has it been up-and-down like mine? What are your goals? Comment below and let’s talk about it!