These were some of the thoughts running through my mind as I attempted to run down the streets in the neighborhood behind my high school. I’d always wanted to join a team, and the open-team policy of my small school inspired me to run cross country. I had pictured making long, graceful strides as I made my way through drills and endurance runs. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks.
I had never run a long distance before, and now I was lost and out-of-breath.
Finding My Fitness Soul
That feeling of being lost was the same way I felt when I first came to Green Mountain. When it came to exercise, I got so caught up in fear, shame, frustration, and self-doubt that it was like a maze. As a perfectionist, I was so afraid of failing that I didn’t even try.
As I backtracked my way back to the school, I tried to think up all the ways I could tell our coach, my favorite teacher, that I was quitting. Blinking through tears, I saw him sprinting in my direction, obviously relieved. After apologizing, making sure I was okay, and showing me the route, we walked a few blocks before I spoke.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t keep up. I won’t hold up your practices anymore. Everybody else makes a great team.”
“What are you talking about, Cat?” he said. “You’re on this team. I won’t let you get lost next time. See you at practice, okay?”
“Okay,” I said, surprised.
My Frustration With FitBalls
Anyone who was with me at Green Mountain probably listened to me talk about my frustrations with fitballs. As silly as it sounds, I was intimidated. It’s going to pop, I’m going to fall and look stupid, I thought. Feeling tears coming, I walked out of my first fit ball class.
I was trying to find tissues when I ran into Lynn Ann Covell, Green Mountain’s exercise specialist.“What’s wrong, Skippy?” she asked.
“I . . . can’t . . . the fitballs . . .ugh!” I managed, between sobs.
“That’s it? The fitballs? Come with me….” And as she taught me the moves (and showed me that, yes, I could use a fitball without breaking something), I couldn’t help but think about that first practice. Being “found” in those tough moments was vital to my Green Mountain experience. They gave me the courage to pour myself into challenges and be proud of where I was at.
Your Pace Is The Pace
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Learning to Love Exercise
When it comes to exercise, LynnAnn always says that “your pace is the pace.” Unlike my practice that was so long ago, going at your own pace won’t land you in unfamiliar territory. For me, it got me started down the long, bumpy road to loving and believing in myself again. Regardless of where you are, or at what pace you’re going, at Green Mountain, you’re not going to be lost. You’re always going to be on the team.
Have you found your fitness soul? Tell us about your exercise experiences.