I had the pleasure of rooming with the gorgeous Melissa from Suger Coat It for a blog conference in 2011, and I absolutely adored this funny, sweet and gregarious lady. We've been in contact ever since, and I'm so proud to call her a friend of mine. She shares the same philosophy to life as I do- healthy living, clean eating, running and exercise, and she was generous enough to guest post for me this week. Thanks Liss, you're a superstar!
It was at least twelve months ago now that I started training. I had just quit sugar, I was feeling healthful (a great word that one, full of health. Love) and ready to take on the next challenge. I had watched Rhi battle her way through the Couch to 5km and come out the other side a runner in love with running. I'd always dreamt of being a runner. Be one who runs more than a competitor in races. Having battled with myself, my body and health all my life, I assumed it would be one of those things that other people did. Not me. Not this lifetime.
And because of that, I started to run.
Slowly, at first. Heck, by most people's standards, slowly in the end too. But I didn't care. Every single minute I spent jogging I felt powerful. Strong and in command of a lovingly cared for, imperfect body. I met my 12 week, 5km goal and was elated and excited and pretty darn happy with myself. I've never run that far, at once, since. I had done it. I knew myself. Someone who could run. Did run. And settled into a slower pace that kept me going back for more.
Running opened the door for me to fall in love with exercise. It really does happen. Those fit people didn't just make that up. Soon I joined the gym, I was going three or four times a week with my sister. Together we shaped our bodies, replacing some of the softness with muscle. Strength where there had been weakness before. Shapely and strong, we loved the changes to our bodies. Our focus shifted from long bouts of cardio to weights. We lifted and stretched and strained. We fell in love with the wonder that is the human body. We treated ourselves well. Better than ever in a lot of ways. We added our brother, sister-in-law, uncle, aunt and cousin to our posse of gym bunnies. Our love was catching.
Even now at 20 weeks pregnant my sister is my most loyal gym buddy. It keeps her sane, her body strong and her mind focused. She missed the competition element, something she was told to cut back (lower weights, more reps, less strain). But she'll be back. I know, she knows, that life will be forever changed for her. A new baby, a whole person to care for. But it is that she'll do it for her. For her health, her well-being and to be the sanest mother she can be. She'll do it for her family. You see, once it gets you, exercise has you forever.
So how do you start?
You just do.
You take that first step out your door, you walk that first kilometre, you lift that first weight, you join that first sports team. You just do it. Then every day when the option to exercise arises or not, you say yes. You say yes until no seems like a silly answer. You say yes until your body and mind soar at the very thought of being out to the test.
You say yes until you're in love and then, you do it for love.
You can catch the lovely Melissa on Suger Coat It, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.