This has been a week of firsts for me – I went to my first ever Zumba class and I made a raw Speculoos and Chocolate tart. Granted, these are not the most exciting situations and I’m sure the rest of the world has done both a million times already. And it’s not that I’m behind the times either, I’m perfectly aware of all the trends that pop up left, right and centre that we follow.
It’s just that exercise has never been a great interest of mine. I prefer to eat well and avoid bad foods, and even after having a gym membership PAID for me as a gift it still took a while for me to feel motivated to go. In the last month though it has really started to become something I’m excited to do and I want to make the effort to work out, rather than the dreaded feeling of forcing myself to go just to make use of my pass.
When I ran my first 10k last year in Paris, my sisters and friends back home were so impressed that I would go running of my own volition and actually completed such a task. I was really proud of myself too, it was honestly such an achievement that I ordinarily would never have thought of doing. The only reason I did it was because a few of my friends wanted us to share the experience together and I thought it was the perfect excuse to finally start doing some exercise. It was difficult and running is not all that interesting if I’m honest, and although I had every intention of keeping up with running after the 10k was over, I didn’t.
Then winter came round and it was certified – no more (outdoor) exercise until summer. It bummed me out a little, but not that much that I was going to run in the park when it’s 6 degrees Celsius outside. After receiving the gym membership gift, I had no more excuses. Just going once a week for an hour wasn’t really working for me though – knowing that my schedule had to fit around my boyfriend and his brother’s availability of when they would drive us really limited what I could do, for example if we left at 5pm I obviously couldn’t go to a yoga or stretching class at 3pm.
So this week I did something new – I went alone. The Boy still drove me there and picked me up (he insisted I swear!), but it was so good to have my own time and be there for me. Enter the Zumba class! Now this gym is pretty great, it’s fully equipped with machines, exercise rooms and a billion tennis courts, but the clientèle are of the much older variety. So much so that I feel so self-conscious being around all these elderly women! Plus they were all so well acquainted with the routine because they attend the class all the time, whereas I stood on many occasions with a ‘What the hell, I can’t see the teacher!’ expression on my face as I tried to copy the moves. Verdict? It was still fun, the music was great and it felt good to get my body moving. And, if I keep going, I’ll know all the routines off by heart like everyone else!
So, what’s my point? There’s no easy way to start something new, or to get back into an old routine. There are no magic words, no 12-step routines to get you into a 12-step routine. It’s very simple – you either get up and go, or you don’t. The first step to achieving what you want is THE hardest part – even just laying out your gym clothes the night before and putting them on first thing in the morning can boost your motivation 100%. I know because even for me it was a difficult stage despite its apparent simplicity. Also for a long time I’ve been wanting to get into yoga; I’ve tried it on a few occasions and I think it’s an extremely powerful tool for your body. Of course it hurts at the beginning and of course you’re not going to be a pro after one 60-minute session. But even just doing 15m every morning is going to change my mind and body so much if I just keep going with it.
Why are you going to complain about the abs you don’t have, or the Spanish language you can’t speak or the car you can’t drive if you’re not doing anything to achieve it? The only way forward is by getting on your feet and taking that first step. After a while, it feels less like hard work and more like a completely natural part of your lifestyle. It takes discipline and effort but there is no other more fulfilling way to reach your goals. What are some of the goals you guys are trying to achieve, and how is it working out? I would love to hear some stories of your personal growth!
Bisous! P.S. recipe for the raw Speculoos and Chocolate tart will be up this week!