The relationship you have with yourself, sets the foundation for every other relationship you have in your life….It all boils down to how much do you love yourself? -Shelah Marie, Meditation Mixtape
Last week I started attending a fitness boot camp. Though I’ve watched a few videos of online friends attending them, I was not sure what to expect. I was anxious, wondering what the exercises would be like and if I could do them. If I couldn’t, would the others in the class laugh at me? Would people notice just how out of shape I’d grown to be?
While I have openly shared my love of walking, when I get in my feelings too deep, I stop going. After this last experience I had, I struggled completing the little over a mile I usually do in the park. My weight was fluctuating between 145-150, and I could barely find anything to fit me. Nothing and no one interested me. I didn’t want to go places. Hell, I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror, not only did I feel miserable, but I naturally have a fat face, and now it was like big, sad circle.
I knew I had to do something other than continue down that path. I am only 32, but my body feels much older, and I’ve never been super active, not even as a child. I thought about that fact a lot. It was my excuse as to why I had not been doing more with myself. Then I noticed the pattern of how I always quit things that require too much physical activity or make me uncomfortable, even as a child. My mother always sheltered me. If it seemed like it would be too much work or commitment for me, she either prevented it, or I walked away.
Only seven minutes into boot camp, and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. 15 minutes into boot camp, I was visualizing telling the instructor, “I don’t know what I was thinking, but I’m sorry, I can’t do this”, as I grab my bag and politely walk past the other ladies who were still carrying out the routine and sweating.
But see, I’m at a point in my life, where I can’t take any more losses. I can’t leave anything else undone or half done. I just need to get things done. I need to see something into fruition. I can’t worry about how badly my body is feeling right now, especially not in comparison to how my body would be feeling in a few years, if I keep this lifestyle up, if I keep making excuses. I thought of Shelah Marie’s quote and had to ask myself how much do I really love myself?
At 35 minutes or so in, and I thought, “I’m just going to keel over”. We did these wall planks and I didn’t think my hips and thighs had ever felt pain like that. I have no strength or stamina, and my knees were literally buckling beneath, like you could see me shaking. Everyone in the room could, and I felt ashamed but then I told myself at least you are trying and that made me laugh, because my poor legs were the perfect depiction of the struggle.
When in my dark place, one of my thoughts was I’d given away my best years, my twenties to build a brand and seven years later, all I have is a lot of baggage and weight. I then thought of all how these new sisters are aging, not the plastics but ladies like First Lady Michelle (I dare you) and her sinewy arms, Angela Bassett, and many others. I recalled how when I see their pics online, I’d silently pray that by the grace of God, I still look that good- with no work! How Sway? When I know I come from a line of women with cellulite and varicose veins. Those divas are older than me and are still out here getting it, and not totally for a look, but health is wealth. We function better when we tend to and appreciate our bodies. Plus, I want to move on to some other extracurricular activities, but first I must build up my endurance.
And then it was time to lay flat on our mats and meditate a minute before we left, and all I could think was, “Girl you made it!” Many of you have saw me post, “set me free”. No I am not on house arrest, but I feel so confined in life. There’s always some other fire to put out, or someone needing attention, or something to deliver. I just need something for myself… and in that moment, I felt proud of myself. As horrible as I may have looked, I didn’t walk out, and I had given it my all.
Now a week later, I’m still trying. Each day of a session, I consider skipping and think of reasons to do so, like catching up on work or having to be around others, but when I’m there, it’s a good feeling and after sweating and making those kinds of sound with people, you must possess some type of bond with them, and I like it. I enjoy their energy, knowing everyone is doing this for some personal goal. Some ladies have encouraged me privately, sharing how difficult it had been for them as well initially and how much weight they’d lost. All of them stated 15lbs or more. I can’t say I’ve lost anything yet, but I know there’s been a change in my spirit. I see it in the reaction of others to me when they interact with others, and that’s a good thing. I know that I possess a light, but when my spirit is off, everything is.
So ladies and gents, I’ve shared my intro to fitness boot camp. I hope I motivate someone who has been considering it. To my friends with anxiety, I think this is a great way to release your nervous energy. To my depressed friends going through something, this is a great way to release endorphins triggering a good feeling within you. To my timid friends, it’s a great way to meet people. If you are in the Baton Rouge area, come check out the trainer I work with, Coach Adraine Conrad. Her sessions are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 6:30. Find her on IG at @adraine_conrad and tell her I sent you.