Sport: noun. an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Source: Google Dictionary
Sport: verb. exerting energy to perform physical activity, typically in a group setting with some element of competition. Source: Kimberly Honiball
I use the word “sport” as a verb on a regular basis — as in, I do not sport.
As a kid, I sported quite often. I played basketball from the ages of 8 until 12 and attended camps during the summer (I promise I have like 15 trophies in my childhood room from the competitions I won [not just participation trophies]). I also played volleyball in middle school and dabbled in gymnastics and dance as a tiny child (as most tiny children do). But as I got taller, and my center of gravity shifted upward, sports and I stopped getting along so well.
Despite sporting at a young age, I’ve always been self-conscious about my athletic ability — I was never the best on the team, I never scored the game winning shot, no one ever really wanted me on their kickball team, etc. etc. Now, I’m getting a bit more comfortable with exposing my lack of athletic ability, but in middle school, running the mile was my biggest nightmare.
I was never great at longterm training, but as soon as I heard we would have to be running the mile, I would start trying to build up my stamina to ensure I wouldn’t make a fool out of myself in front of the entire class. (You’d think I would just always be in shape if was this scared, but my commitment issues extended (and continue to extend) to working out.) Alas, I was always the last to cross the finish line.
I have always been aware of my body — always. I was an early bloomer, so not only was I taller than half the girls in my grade at any given time, I also had boobs and curves at a young age, along with a little extra weight around my middle that I just couldn’t seem to get rid of (probably because I have an addiction to sugar).
I am a huge believer in the philosophy, “Go big, or go home,” and that carries over into my weight loss journey. In the past, whenever I would get particularly fed up with the way clothes were fitting my body or how I felt in my skin, I would resort to calorie counting, restrictions, and hard-core gym sessions. I would try anything — Cut meat out of my diet? Sure, why not. Try being gluten-free? Let’s give it a whirl. Spin class? Sign me up. But these commitments never lasted very long (see my previous admission of being a commitmentphobe), and I was always frustrated with my lack of dedication.
Then came senior year.
I worked out on and off throughout college on a semi-regular basis, but as soon as I would hit a routine, I would get sick, a huge project would come up, or a break would start and my routine would be all jumbled up. But during my senior year of college, I was able to lose almost 20 lbs, and keep it off.
In the interest of full disclosure, it’s important for you to know that I did not lose all of this weight in the healthiest way — but losing the weight did inspire me to become a healthier person.
Senior year was a lot. In the fall, I was interning at a company in Greensboro during my afternoon after a full load of courses in the morning. I didn’t have a lot of time for snacking (something I used to do quite often), so I typically stuck to three meals a day (sometimes two — I know, not healthy, but in college, you eat when you can). I also happened to go through some major heartbreak (which, for me, means lack of appetite), and I fell ill a couple of times in the spring (including getting food poisoning — I still have a hard time eating chicken tenders). Even though I wasn’t working out consistently or meal-prepping every Sunday, shedding the extra pounds helped me feel good in my skin — for the first time in what felt like forever — and that’s when I got serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
As previously stated, I do not sport. I have not sported since middle school. My hand-eye coordination is awful, I am as slow as a turtle, and my competitive edge only rears its ugly head every once -in-awhile, so sports really aren’t my thing. But training? Training I can do.
So, this summer, I made a plan for myself.
Go to the gym at least five days a week.
Do at least 30 minutes of cardio every day.
Strength train three times a week.
When I started going back to the gym, the elliptical was my cardio weapon of choice. But, I soon realized that I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough, so I started looking for a bigger challenge.
That’s when I decided to try Couch to 5K (C25K) again. I have tried this program on THREE separate occasions, and I think this is the time it finally sticks. C25K is an app that leads you through an eight week program that sets intervals of running and walking to lead users up to running a 5K (perfect for people who have never run for fun a day in their life). My friend told me about it once on a hike, and I instantly knew I would try it out. I almost completed the program during the summer of 2016, but I think I made it to week 6 before classes started and my routine was interrupted (Cry you a river, I know, but I’m just being honest!).
Starting this program again was daunting to say the least. I had a lot of doubts about whether I would finish this time or not (I haven’t yet, but I’m more than halfway through!), but there is nothing that makes me feel better than running farther than I ever have before (and for me, that’s completing a mile, don’t judge me!).
On top of running every other day (I still mix in the elliptical and cycling), I also designate certain days to focus on my arms, legs, and core.
If you are trying to get into fitness, train your body to run, increase your stamina, or mix up your work out, I highly recommend the C25K app. Because it provides an outline of when you should be running and walking, it helps to motivate and inspire new runners to reach their potential.
I’m still incredibly far from where I want to be, but life only happens one day at a tmie, and so do my workouts.
There’s something magical about feeling your body do things it has never done before. Don’t take that magic away from yourself by saying, “I can’t.” You never know what your body can do.
This post is not sponsored