Working It Out

The number of posts I’ve thought of writing have exponentially increased ever since I graduated a month ago. Is it a product of boredom? Perhaps. But there is also another aspect to this: I like writing, and now that I’m not in school I’ve realized that my life is weird without writing in it.

So today, I’m writing about the only thing that is filling my time these days: training.

What kind of training you may ask? Well, just a couple months shy of 2 years ago, my sister and I signed up for 10 sessions with a personal trainer at UA’s Recreation Center. We were both looking to get into better shape, and I was wanting to change up my everyday cardio routines. As a firm believer in low-resistence, high-rep exercising, I never really saw myself being where I am now. We trained with this really cute, sweet, and creative girl named Jean, and loved it (and her) so much that we continued to train for a year and half. It started out with cardio circuits and resistance training, and gradually she introduced us to heavier weights. By the time we left we were doing squats, dead lifts, and mixing it into supersets that kept our blood pumping.

Back in April, our awesome trainer moved to peruse her master’s degree. For some reason, we stopped the personal training sessions when she left. (Pretty much because we couldn’t imagine what training would be like with another trainer). Nonetheless, I had learned so much over the past year and a half about working out that 1. I wasn’t going to stop now and 2. I felt like I knew enough to create my own workouts and keep on keeping’ on.

So ever since May, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Now let me back track just a bit. For you nay-sayer women out there who say that weights will make you bulkier, you tried it for a few weeks and your clothes got tighter, you’ve heard that you should never go beyond your own body weight if you want to slim up: that’s so false, it’s not even funny. I’m not a CrossFitter, Bodybuilding meathead by any means, so don’t worry. But it just isn’t true!

Here’s the thing: I’m not a small girl. My body is somewhere in between being a mesomorph and a shapely ectomorph, meaning that basically, my metabolism ain’t quick, my bones are small, and I build muscle easily. Starting out, weights seemed like a terrible idea. But here’s the thing. Combining weight with cardio has allowed me to drop two pants sizes. I was never able to do that before! I would do the smart dieting, and run like crazy, but nothing ever changed as drastically as when I started adding weights into the equation. It’s all about balance (you can’t weight train without cardio and expect to lose and vice-versa).

Back to training alone. Working out in the weight room without a buddy and a bunch of guys staring at you isn’t ideal. In fact, I hated going in there for the first 2 months because I felt weird and I was worried someone would steal my machines during my supersets. I also sweat more than anyone in the gym. I know that most people say that, but I actually mean that. Some days people look at me and I know that it’s because I look like I just walked out of a pool. With all of these causes for insecurity, going to the gym by myself wasn’t the most comfortable thing. But like with most things, you get used to it and it becomes easier the more you do it. Nowadays, that weight room is mine and those guys are just using it! (Not really, but it’s my mentality. The more you own it, the better, right?)

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(Cardio is still part of my routine too! Here’s my cousin and I after a 5K earlier this year.)

The best part of this entire process has been realizing how easy it is incorporate weights and create workouts on my own. It’s quite simple, really. Now that I have the confidence to do it, I rarely find an excuse not to go. If any of you know me well, you know that I’m completely uncoordinated athletically. The most athletic things I ever did in high school were tennis and dance. But where I am now is so feasible and I feel amazing.

Don’t worry. This won’t become just a fitness blog. There’s SO many of those already and they all say variations of the same thing. The only reason that I’m saying anything now is that I’m beginning a new part of my fitness journey.

While I’m waiting to be employed in the PR/advertising world (which I still want to be a part of quite badly), I have been trying to think of a way to make money or some sort of small job that I could pick up around town. (I’m sure you know where this is going). So I’m about to start studying to become certified as a personal trainer. Who knows where this will lead, but my thought is that if I’m certified now that I can always do it, even as a side job.

So, I want to keep y’all involved in this process just because, who knows? It could be fun! Also, I need a form of accountability to study hard and do the test as soon as possible. If I tell people that I’m doing it, I’ll be more likely to follow through quickly. Above all, this is part of my 20-something journey, and it’s one of the ways I’m finding structure in all of this uncertainty. Who knows how the Lord will use it. But I can’t wait to see how He does!

Working out to work it out,

Chaslee

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