My Personal Fitness Journey – The Ups & Downs

Fitness Journey The Radish Society

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.

Fitness Journey


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!



  1. March 30, 2017 / 2:31 PM

    Wow what journey. Get you! I need to sort myself out a fitness routine. xx

    • rebecca
      March 30, 2017 / 7:03 PM

      Fitness routines are so tough! Good luck! xoxo

  2. Jordan
    March 25, 2017 / 6:25 PM

    Love this post! Definitely inspired me to get back into fitness!

    • rebecca
      March 27, 2017 / 11:39 AM

      Thanks so much for your kind comment!

  3. March 24, 2017 / 12:27 PM

    Oh my lord! It’s so amazing what you’ve done, I would definetly say go in for a spirit triathlon! I’m sure you’ll do amazing at it! Your motivation is admirable and I salute you!

    Jordanne ||

    • rebecca
      March 24, 2017 / 2:51 PM

      Thanks so much Jordanne!! Your kind words are just what I needed to hear today :)

    • rebecca
      March 22, 2017 / 10:41 AM

      Swimming seems to be an activity that people either absolutely love or absolutely hate haha. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between!

  4. March 21, 2017 / 8:03 PM

    I really do wish I had your motivation! I adored swimming when I was younger, but I was never a fit and healthy child so as teenage self-consciousness kicked in and I realised I didn’t look picture perfect in a swimsuit, I resented any form of exercise because you only ever saw or see fit/healthy people exercising, and so I’ve struggled to find something that I both love to do and want to do over and over. Good luck with your goals though, I know you can do it!

    • rebecca
      March 22, 2017 / 10:40 AM

      Thanks, Katie! You should try getting back into swimming if it is something you loved when you were younger. Find a pool or free-swim time that doesn’t have too many people and it might be a good way to ease back into it. There are a bunch of different swimsuit styles that might help ease your mind a bit too. Good luck xoxo

  5. March 21, 2017 / 5:46 PM

    Keep up the amazing work. I am trying to look into more natural foods and essential oils. I used to run I have to get back into it.

    • rebecca
      March 22, 2017 / 10:38 AM

      Running is so hard to get back into. Some people love it but I am not one of those people haha. Glad you’re eating more natural foods – that’s always a good thing!

  6. March 21, 2017 / 5:30 PM

    I really need to get into fitness and exercising regularly! I just don’t have the motivation at the moment but I want to live a long life and do so much so for that I need to be active and healthy! I’m sure you’ll be fine with competing in the sprint triathlon, you’ve got plenty of time to train! :)

    Tiffany x

    • rebecca
      March 22, 2017 / 10:38 AM

      Thank you! Yes – gotta put in the work now to make sure everything is okay later :)

  7. March 21, 2017 / 5:24 PM

    I really need to start up a new fitness routine, this post was really inspirational! X

    • rebecca
      March 22, 2017 / 10:37 AM

      Yay! so glad it has inspired you xoxo

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