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Why I Exercise
Happy 2020. It’s a coincidence that my first post of the year is about exercise. However, I promise I’m not on any crazy diets/dry January/attempting Veganuary. I actually just ate a slice of red velvet cake in bed as it was my friend’s 30th birthday last night. Saying that I went to the gym at 6 this morning so? Balance?…
I didn’t always exercise. There was simply no need to work out. I pretty much ate what I wanted up until about 25 years old with very few physical consequences. I dabbled with running in high school and uni and enjoyed team sports (competitive much?) but didn’t take them seriously.
I think the beginning of my exercise journey began when I took pilates for the first time whilst living in Singapore. Our instructor spoke so much about pilates being used to strengthen our minds not just our bodies, I’d never heard anyone speak like that about exercise. The following year, I moved to New York and caught the gym bug. I liked my classes loud, difficult and aggressive. I didn’t venture near the gym floor, choosing to stay within the confines of the class, with someone watching and telling me what to do.
Fast forward another year and I’m back in London and I join Gymbox. I continued working out – again within the safety of classes but I was definitely a casual gym goer. I tried to push myself, but would always come back to the same thought, ‘Why are you out here pushing yourself? You’re not even fat.’ This entire time I never tried to do weights or anything on the gym floor. I had the fear of 1. Turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger over night (irrational) and 2. Injuring myself (probably a legit concern to have). I didn’t really think about nutrition, I figured the gym should be grateful I was even bothering to turn up.
Then I evicted a human from my body
Like so many things in my life, having a baby was a huge watershed moment. With my first Muse, I actually did some swimming when pregnant and started Body Pump classes. I was quite unwell when pregnant and I found that exercise was a great distraction. It’s really hard to think about heartburn and nausea whilst exercising. However when the baby came out, I found myself having to rebuild my body again. This was no longer a fat/not fat concern, I needed physical strength to be a mum. Baby gear is heavy…and babies get heavier every day. I got a personal trainer and began the journey of strengthening and putting my body to work.
It was hard.
I was the girl that used to lie on the mat during class because it had all gotten ‘a bit too much.’ I had no shame about this either. I wouldn’t finish reps if they hurt too much because I wasn’t about that pain and discomfort life. However, the stakes were higher this time round, I wanted to feel strong again and I wanted to be strong for my new family.
Training your body trains your mind
The last 18 months or so have taken my working out to a new place. A place I never thought I would get to. 18 months ago is about the time my morning sickness with Muse No.2 abated and I started exercising again – so from about 4 months pregnant. I was working, chundering in public places on a regular basis, looking after a toddler and working on Mummy’s Muse. I realised that if I could muster up the physical and mental strength to exercise given everything else on my plate, that everything else would fall into place. If I could manage to do that, I could do anything.
And that is what working out has become to me: a way to prove to myself that if I can achieve this, my mind is strong. It can break through; it can really focus and make this body do things I never thought I was capable of.
You may think I’m out here squatting 150kg, absolutely not! HA. My acheivements are relative to where I started and the resolve in my mind to push through and finish what I began.
Why I work out
I work out because it’s something I can control. I can control whether I go or not (even if a baby stops me going, I can still do push ups on the floor at home). My progress is visible – I can recognise that I’m getting stronger. I’m in charge of whether I start and if I finish. So much about setting up Mummy’s Muse feels out of my control, there are so many things I don’t know. Exercising helps me when a ‘Tsunami of Doubt’ washes over me. I don’t have these too often, but when they come, they can really make me feel this vision is much bigger than me. I feel gutted and wonder whether my time, energy & resources can be saved or used elsewhere.
Then I remember that I love what this brand is becoming and I love what I’m trying to create. I remember when I could only do one push up and now I can do 15+ and I’m reminded that I can indeed acheive great things, and anything is possible.
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