I didn’t grow up being much of an athlete. Moving to Los Angeles to attend college thrust me into a new world of athletic, beautiful people. I felt insecure, and my first year at UCLA was spent obsessing on thoughts of being a stronger, prettier, skinnier version of myself. I was determined to fit in. I went to an aerobics class at our gym and couldn’t even finish the class. I was embarrassed and wanted to drive back home and disappear.
I took the last quarter off, and went home. It would be so easy to just go home and give up my dreams of going to school in SoCal. I felt like an outsider.
So I went home.
I hated it. I hated myself for quitting. There were so many positives about living in Los Angeles, but I let my own fears control my perceptions of how I should live my life.
So I returned.
I wanted to be a stronger more self confident version of myself and this embarrassing and humbling experience was exactly that kick in the butt that I needed. Sometimes we need those dark moments to let our true inner selves shine.
So I packed all my stuff and moved back. I still knew no one. I still sucked at aerobics. But now I was determined to prove to myself that I could make it, and do it on my own terms.
It took me awhile to figure out exactly what I was seeking in getting into health and fitness. What was health and fitness really about besides superficial looks and a desirable physique? Exercise to me was cathartic, stress relieving, a chance to stop thinking, and just feel good about myself. I wanted to yell at all the people on the treadmill with headphones on, and drinking their sugar free fake energy drinks – “Hey you’re doing it wrong! You’re missing the point!”
Fitness is a feeling of health that you develop from the inside-out. Sometimes it gets ugly. You sweat, you push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you do it to strengthen your mind, and your body.
Working as a physical therapist in sports medicine was the turning point in really understanding what it meant to build strength and care for your body. That began this path and the desire to educate others on how they can heal themselves.
Truth be told, I am still on that journey.
Exercise has become my moving meditation. It has provided me with a healthy way to vent, destress and decompress. It has allowed me to teach others drawing from my own life experiences.