I hope you’re having a lovely day. Since this is my first post for my up and coming weekly column, I thought it would only be fair to let you know who I am, so you have a better sense of where I come from, why I write and how I do so. Through comments you can tell me a bit about yourself, so I can get to know my readers as well! I also need to ensure this post is, for lack of a better word, “epic”… so I can keep you coming back for more!
I started having a passion for fitness when I was 16 years old. I know that’s pretty young for someone to realize their passion for something, but I got a taste of the fitness industry when I volunteered at the annual Toronto canfitpro conference. When i was there, I realized just how much positive energy and amazing people were in the fitness industry. I knew instantly this is where I wanted to be.
I got my first job in a local gym at age 17 thanks to a co-op position in high school. It was a very small gym, maybe 1000 square feet. I was so excited to be there, just to wash mirrors, and to bring the gift of fitness to anyone who walked through the door.
I then spent two years in college studying Fitness and Health Promotion in London, ON. I will admit, I was a victim of the freshman 20. In second year I managed to get my weight under control, and lost what I had put on. I learned that this isn’t easy, and it definitely gave me a new respect for people who need to lose weight.
During my years in college I worked part-time for canfitpro in the Education Department, planning out the conferences that first gave me the motivation to get into the fitness industry. The world has a weird way of doing a complete 360 on you, huh? From there, I made my way to the big city of Toronto, and now I work for GoodLife Fitness in our Corporate Wellness department.
In my mere eight years in the fitness industry, I like to think I’ve learned A LOT about the business of fitness. It’s been such a whirlwind, but I’ve really gotten into fitness itself in this past year, more than I ever have before.
In January of 2012 I made the aggressive decision to run a half-marathon in May. I say this was aggressive because I had never run outside before. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t a runner, and this quickly needed to change. I started running four times each week, and resistance training two or three times per week, and also did a dance class once each week. During this process I did some things that I would do differently if/when I do it again. Let me share a few of these with you!
1. I’d take more time to stretch – I didn’t do this often last time and it caused some very unnecessary pain. Stretching also includes foam rolling. This is very important; if you have the time to run, then you have time to stretch afterwards for 10 minutes. So far I’ve been successful in doing this!
2. Include resistance training into your running program – most of the time I did resistance training during my running program, however I very rarely worked on my legs. I assumed that running was enough. I learned a small lesson; stronger legs = faster runner. Enough said!
3. Experiment with gels prior to doing a long run – I took a gel during the longest training run of my program, and it turned my stomach upside down. I shouldn’t have taken something new, without already knowing how it would affect me. As a result I had to back track to find a washroom!
Not only do I now consider myself a runner, I look forward to my runs as a way to relieve stress, have some alone time, and just zone into my surroundings and the tunes I decide to listen to. It taught me to never tell yourself you can’t do something, because you 100 percent can! If I can go from never having run outside, to running 21.1 kilometers in just 16 weeks – so can you! It’s all about a positive mind-set, positive self-talk, and having an amazing support group!
Do you have anything you’ve always wanted to do, but are too scared? I challenge you to share it with me, and allow me to encourage you!
I look forward to sharing important fitness and health information with you weekly! I will admit, I’m probably the baby of the group in terms of experience, but I’m learning and I hope you enjoy what I write! Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts as well.
Until next time – stay healthy!