“It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable.”
About three years ago I decided to sign up for a half marathon with a friend of mine. I could barely run a mile without getting winded, and working out was something I did when I had time. I was active as a child and throughout high school and college, but when I started grad school, my activity level decreased and my poor eating habits increased.
After signing up for the half marathon, I began running every day and discovered it’s not so terrible. A friend of mine invited me to a workout at RaceStart Training and I confidently stated I would go with her; after all I had been running every day, I figured I could handle any kind of workout. Turns out, I could not have been further from the truth. I came to harsh realization that running does not make you ready for anything. My first workout at RaceStart challenged me mentally and physically. It took me awhile before I realized that the challenges that I once feared where exactly what I needed to help empower me. Often times we are our own worst critics. After that first workout with RaceStart I beat myself up and neglected what I was capable of. I spent most of my time focusing on all the things I couldn’t do. It was a process, but soon I have learned to be kinder to myself.
Despite being able to run, I still dreaded going to a “globo gym” just to find myself doing the same thing day in and day out. After completing the half marathon, I realized that I ready for a change. I was now mentally prepared and fully committed to take on new challenges- Which lead me back to RaceStart. Training at RaceStart is one of the best decisions I have ever made! In the last two years, not only has my body thanked me, but my mind and heart have as well. Today, I still run, but I can do SO MUCH MORE! I now have more confidence along with a whole new outlook on health and fitness. RaceStart is unlike any other gym I have ever been to. Antonette’s approach and presence as a trainer is the perfect balance between challenging and encouraging. RaceStart is a community that I am so grateful to be a part of. Without Antonette and RaceStart Training, my life would look very different- Experiences, like the one I am about to share, would have broken me rather than motivated me, reinforcing the pride I take in my abilities.
Recently, I experienced something that in the past would have discouraged me and sent me into a whirlwind of self-doubt and tears; fortunately, this time was different. I was at a globo gym getting my run in for the day, and as I was towards the end of mile 3, an employee of the gym stopped to talk to me. He introduced himself as a personal trainer and asked what my workout was going to consist of for the day. I explained to him I was only running today, because I was training at RaceStart later that day. His response was, “Just running? Why nothing else?” I again explained that I had another workout planned for later in the day and I just needed to get a run in now. Ignoring what I had just told him he went on to say, “There is no reason for you to be scared of the weight machines, free weights, or functional fitness machines; they could really benefit you.” Next, he questioned if I had ever worked with or considered working with a personal trainer. I explained that I was very committed to personal training at RaceStart Training; However, recently I switched it up with group workouts there. What he said next almost had me lost for words … ALMOST.
As I was approaching mile 5, he said, “Your body would look a whole lot better and you would be capable of so much more if you decided to personal train with me.” I calmly stepped off the belt of my treadmill, onto the side rails and said to him, “I think you’re confused, because if I heard you correctly, you just told me my body was not good enough nor capable enough. Fortunately for me, that could not be further from the truth. My 5 foot 10 inch, 230 pound body may not fit into your ideal of a strong and fit body, but my body is incredibly f#%k!ng strong and capable of ridiculously incredible things. I would appreciate if you stopped concerning yourself with my body and my capabilities.” I got back on the belt of my treadmill and continued my run. My mind started racing about what I was going to do…write a complaint, speak with his boss, cancel my membership, etc. I realized none of these things would do any good-As none of these options would change this man’s beliefs about what strong and capable looks like. As I was leaving, he approached me and apologized profusely for offending me and asked what he could do to help me feel better. I explained to him that I did not need him to help me feel better, because unfortunately for him he was worse off than I was. He looked at me with a puzzled look, and I suggested he educate himself on health and fitness and the FACT that strong, capable and fit look different on everyone. I walked out the door and left him with a smile.
Had this happened a year or more ago, I would not have walked away with a smile on my face. I would have walked away with even less self-confidence, more self-doubt, and at some point would have been wiping away tears. Not today though; today I felt proud, I felt confident, and I felt strong! I know that physically I am strong and capable, and today I became wholeheartedly aware of how mentally and emotionally strong I am as well. I finally realized that it was not a perfect body that I had been searching for this whole time but rather the emotional and mental strength to be able to remind myself, in even the most difficult of situations, that I am pretty damn incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect and I’m not where I want to be, but I am certainly not where I used to be.
I owe a lot of my (physical and mental) progress to Antonette and RaceStart Training has always encouraged me and reminded me of how much I am capable of. I will forever be in debt to the coaches and the individuals I workout with at RaceStart. Without them, I would not be where I am today. I cannot imagine my life without that gym or without those people. I have recommended RaceStart to my family, friends, coworkers, complete strangers, and I will continue to recommend them! Nowadays, I prefer to focus on what I can do and what I will do rather than what I can’t. I have fallen in love with taking care of myself…mind, body, and spirit.