It's the only place you have to live.
We all have our own stories of why we create change in our life. I have a few instances of why I chose to live a healthier one.
August 2014 - Sometime last summer, I was feeling a bit tired, sluggish, and welllllllllllll it was a Sunday morning and I was hungover. My mom called and I was agitated, I waited until the last ring to answer. I just wanted to hang out on the couch and maybe order some Seamless and watch reality TV. The first part of the conversation can best be summarized by me being passive and trying to get off the phone with her – she told me that she was concerned that I was going out a lot and not getting enough sleep. For background purposes my mom continues to stay on top of every detail of my daily health choices even though she lives 2,000 miles away. But a typical Mom concern non the less.
I just turned 26 at the time. And Yes, I was going out a lot, but I lived in NYC, it’s just what goes on…but at whose expense? She then followed up by telling my how important taking care of my body now meant when I wanted to have children one day.
Now I was always the girl who said I didn’t want kids. I just wanted to travel with my future husband and live a non-traditional life. Whether that will happen or not, is up to a force larger than me. However, it hit me then that maybe I would want a family one day and would I be prepared? Would I be able to change my habits right then and there when that test shows up positive? That responsibility fell on me, and falls on every woman that decides to carry a child and it was no one else’s prerogative but my own to make sure that I prepared my body in the best possible way to carry a child(1,2 or 3 times).
I went online and joined ClassPass that day.
November 2014 - Scrolling through my Twitter feed, I stopped on a NikeNYC tweet that said something like “come run your fastest mile at Icahn Stadium.” It was free and seemed cool so I signed up to run that night. We met at the Nike UES location and took a bus across the bridge to Randall’s Island where myself and 100+ other New Yorkers were going to run our fastest timed mile. We went through a series of stretches, with music blasting from the top bleacher, food trucks waited outside in the parking lot and a bunch of Nike Pacers/Coachers/Runners were there to organize the night. It was truly amazing, and also inspiring. It made you believe that you were gearing up for a competitive race. But you were your only competition.
It was freezing. I could barely feel the tips of my fingers or toes, but I was excited and also felt that this could possibly be the start of something different for me. I ran my mile around 7 minutes . A couple seconds after I crossed the finish line I felt tired and out of breath, but not completely winded. I knew I had left some left inside me. But maybe that was just what I needed to know that I wasn't pushing myself to my full potential. And with music blasting, people cheering and a full track, if I knew I was not going 100% than have I ever? For this stories purpose yes, I have gone all out in track in High School I joined every year because I loved the pre-season workouts. I loved training and going home around 7 to lay in the shower because my legs were so fatigued, I loved doing wall sits for so long that it hurt just to go to the bathroom the next morning. That feeling I missed. I never competed in a track meet in HS. Yes, I joined every year for pre-season then stopped when the workouts because less intense.
I signed up for more NikeNYC events the following week and told everyone I knew about it.
December 2014 - My sister Jackie has always been the most athletic of my two sisters and I. Rachel is a phenomenal athlete as well, but Jackie and I have the same level of competitiveness. We connect on that feeling. She is a personal trainer up in Boston and ever since I can remember she always got me workout clothes for Christmas. She bought me my first pair of Under Armour winter gear workout leggings, and they are still by far my favorite pair.
My father and I went out for a walk after a big Christmas morning breakfast and were on our way back. Sidebar: My Dad and I raced and he beat me a couple years back in a short sprint down the road. Never again I told myself.
Jackie saw my Dad and I racing down the street and her competitiveness clearly came out as she and my sister Rachel put on regular clothes to come outside to join us in the street after I beat my Dad (he’s 63 so I shouldn’t be bragging).
LOL to the video below.
“Wanna race, Jack?”
Without any hesitation on her end, there we were walking down the street to do our dash. I felt nervous, it’s my sister but regardless I wanted to beat her. Rachel and my Dad stood at the edge of the driveway.
Before I knew it, she beat me. Damn I thought, and while I know she is powerful, I still wanted to beat her. Never again I thought. “Okay, lets race Mother’s Day, I’ll beat you then.” I told her. I was so sour.
Action: I started to frequently go to Tone House NYC as soon as I got back to the city.
These three series of events had a pivotal impact on the life I have now and what I value today. Over time my sleep was sounder and my mind was clearer – I felt genuinely good and had less frequent days where I felt lazy or unmotivated. I had a schedule of workouts that I rarely missed. It was a routine that slowly became a priority and a necessity for me to make sure I have balance in other areas in my life. Over time, I became closer with the people I saw every day, we had conversations around how our priorities were changing because of our new lifestyle and they also motivated me to come back every day. When I saw people that I hadn’t seen in a while, they noticed that I changed a bit and for the better. It was never intentional, but it all started with that phone conversation that I had with my mother that day. All I wanted was to be healthier for myself and potentially my future family, oh and beat my sister in a race . This made it easier to sacrifice nights out because it didn’t feel selfish to me. I didn’t have weight goals, I was not aspiring to get a six pack, or have a certain body fat percentage – I just did it knowing that it was the right thing for myself in so many more ways. Is it nice having your clothes a bit too big, a lower number on that scale, and a low body fat %, um yes. There is no denying that.
This past August a good friend of mine, Tamara who I met at Tone House proposed an Alcohol free month. I didn’t think twice, I had barely drank all summer and couldn’t be happier with all of the small decisions that eventually turned into a much healthier and happier life.
We all have our reasons for change, regardless of what it is, certain changes don’t happen overnight. This one surely didn’t, as it probably took three months of working out 4-6 times a week to see physical changes. But I didn’t mind the work. I became faster, stronger, and leaner. If I had to race my sister tomorrow I would feel confident that I would beat her, or if I for some reason decided to get pregnant tomorrow, I would know that I have my body physically ready to take on that responsibility.
I would really encourage you to take a look at what matters the most to you today and what plans you have in the future. Does a physical aspect come into play? Does a mental toughness or certain level of discipline play a part? It may be a wise choice now to plan on being ready for those moments, that race, that sprint, that decision to have a family. We all have our own reasons…these are mine. I want you to find your own.