• Samantha Dawn

When Your Workout Routine is Boring



When I was a kid my dad signed me up for soccer and I cried for half an hour. Poor dad just thought I could do something fun for the summer. I made my mom be assistant coach for basketball because I wouldn't play without her around. One of my favourite months as a kid was when my wrist was broken because I stayed at home on weekends and couldn't do any of my activities. I don't do team sports, I am socially anxious and the criticism that comes along with team sports is down right depleting. I have never had a positive experience with a team sport. Which is probably why exercise isn't my favourite thing. I associate exercise with negative moments in my life. Which is why exercise is the hardest thing for me to do at times.

I just want to say though, I have had positive experiences with single sports, where I am the only person to compete with. Which is why I loved Tae Kwan Do, swimming (I re-did aquaquest 10 three times to pass because I was stubborn), skiing, golf, home workouts, and yoga. I know exercise can be a positive thing.

 

I can't talk about team sports without talking about dance, as I think it will shed light on why I am afraid of exercise and group sport activities.

I always always loved dancing. It was fun, it allowed me to express myself theatrically, and it was exercise hidden in performance. However, after 15 years of ups and downs in dance, I quit. Which is a shame because it brought me so much joy, but at one point or another you have to remove the toxicity from your life. The dance school I attended was very toxic, now that isn't to say I didn't attend great schools, but overall, my experience with dance was a very sad one. I was a very angry child after dance class; my poor parents had to deal with constant bullying and crying and rage. Who knew what mood I would be in after class, but I loved it. The performance is what I loved, the anger was a side effect. After 7.5 years of pure joy and trauma, my parents put an end to my competitive dancing because of how much it was effecting me. I look back at it now and I can't thank them enough for removing me from a place that I insisted I loved and was fine in. I was not, but I was 16 and didn't see it and I insisted for years that I was okay. I have to add that no one was forcing me to continue, I was my worst enemy and could not see how this toxic environment was effecting me, since I hid it so well. I was so used to the ups and downs, that I myself couldn't see it and refused to quit. I was the ultimate self negotiator when it came to dance and bullying, the highs were so high it made up for the lows.

It took another year of bullying in regular, non-competitive classes to remove myself completely. Thank god someone accused me of stealing a curling iron*, or else I wouldn't have started my healing journey as quickly. I wasn't even able to talk about the events of dancing until a few months ago ( I haven't seen a dance performance in 7-years), fearing there would be repercussions to my actions. You should never fear telling your story because of someone else. I know now that these events traumatized me and it's taken nearly 7-years to heal.

* I never stole the curling iron, I used it, put it back down and left to sit backstage and watch the show because I couldn't sit in the dressing room without feeling scared. When I went to help find the curling iron (I just stood at the door and thought "I'll just buy her a new one, it will be easier than this humiliation") within 10-seconds they "omg, XXX I found it", so I left and I never returned.

Going to the gym has always been a love hate relationship. So many people are like "I go to the gym and I love it", were as I go to the gym and face my fears. I've been immobilized at the gym from fear of people. " Are they watching me", "what do I do here?", "How do I blend in". I don't have a problem with Goodlife, but it really wasn't for me. It's a popular gym, but it's too crowded for this introvert. I like the gym I go to now because the people are friendly and it's mostly older people and some young people working out. I found people who aren't watching me. Which I have to say, I am aware that no one is watching me at any gym, it's just how I felt.

 

I started my health journey after graduating university. I have to give props to Beachbody for showing me that exercise and a healthy diet are possible. However, I felt the life as a coach is very "pushy sales person" and not empowering at all. I am sorry to those I asked to join my health journey, it was not mine to push on someone else. I don't regret it, but I do feel bad for trying to sell something that ultimately doesn't serve everyone.

So what happens when the workouts we are doing don't serve us anymore? Is it falling off the wagon? Or is it just about finding something else that fills our needs? Beachbody stopped working for me after four months, I was not interested in home workouts. I joined yoga in May of 2017, thanks to a friend. I had no idea how much I needed yoga.

Yoga has helped me heal, when I got to yoga in May of 2017, I felt broken. Little does Moksha (sorry, it's Modo now), but they have helped me heal immensely. I had no idea how much moving in complete silence could help heal my soul. I knew I could do the moves, but I had no idea how much the silence and breathing would help my mental health.

Then I hurt my knee, due to IT bands that were (and are still) tight. This is caused from my glutes not being strong enough. Which sparked a need for more then yoga. I needed to physically heal old battle wounds that were surfacing from years of dancing and sitting (hello 5-years of university).

I found a personal trainer who is fabulous and such an incredibly inspiring person for me. She has encouraged me to exercise and to be healthy. She is one of the only reasons I feel comfortable going to the gym, she is the friendly face I need when I am there. She also tells me what to do and takes the fear of 'what is next" away. I have been able to heal at this gym, physically and emotionally. I have terrible hips and ankles and with a little encouragement from her, I haven't had any flareups in almost a year because we have actually been healing these muscles. She's the real deal.

It has taken almost a year for my butt muscles to activate, partly because my hips get in the way and want to do all the work. It's getting better, but it's not an overnight success story, it's a life story. Exercise is necessary, but hating your life doing it, is not. All I can say is that if you are bored of your exercise regime, find something else that works, even if it means quitting the gym and joining another gym, or sport. Staying stagnant isn't a way of life. Getting slim fast is also not a way of life if you get discouraged every time it doesn't happen, it's just depleting and makes you want to quit. Only going to the gym and drinking protein shakes is also not a way of life. There isn't one "all superior" workout that can fix everyone. There isn't a time limit on exercise. It can start any time and it can last for a few weeks or years. I believe that changing workouts can be beneficial especially if you get bored of yours quickly. The important thing is when you stop from boredom, find something else because the health problems that come along with a stagnant life aren't worth it. Boredom is dangerous.

 

Thanks for reading,

Samantha


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