I discovered the gym for the first time when I was a senior in high school. Sure, I had been to the gym plenty of times before then – training for various sports or just messing around on the equipment – but it wasn’t until that year that I truly discovered the gym and fell in love with working out.
Before that time, I looked at the gym as a place people went because they had to go – to lose weight, to gain muscle, or to fit into their clothes. It was a place you begrudgingly went to get bikini body ready for the summer while drinking some weird protein concoction from some overly muscled trainer. It was the place you went if you wanted to look good; never in a million years did I think you would ever go there to actually feel good, too.
One day during strength conditioning practice with my tennis team, I saw a woman doing pull-ups in the corner and couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She was focused. She was determined. She was doing pull-ups to get stronger, and because she could. She did her last one with a little bit of struggle and then happily dismounted. She looked proud and accomplished.
I hadn’t tried doing a real pull-up in years – not since they made me do them in my PE classes – and I had never wanted to do another one until that day. Somehow I had become totally transfixed with working out; I realized that it was a way to better myself (not just to be skinny but to be strong, healthy, and badass).
I loved being an athlete on the tennis court so being an athlete at the gym suddenly made so much more sense. Pull-ups made more sense. Push-ups. Sit-ups. Even lifting made more sense.
Watching that lady crush her pull-ups for something so much bigger than weight loss or muscle gain (something I could see so clearly in her eyes), made me want to be an athlete all the time. I knew that if I could train my body to be stronger, healthier, and more capable, that it would take me places I never even imagined.
And now nearly twenty years later, my whole perspective on working out has changed. For me, a workout – whether I’m in the gym, out on the trails or on my mat – is about feeling my best. It’s about challenging myself and trying things I never thought possible. It isn’t at all about achieving the hottest body, it’s about having the strongest, most capable body. It’s about having a body that will run farther, faster, and up and down hills. A body – at 34 years young – that will still allow me to do back walkovers and handstands, snowboard, and run up steep mountains with ease.
I believe that true athletes love the workout for how it makes them feel, not how it makes them look.
Not convinced that you’ll love the way a workout makes you feel? Or need some extra inspiration to stay strong all summer long? Then join me for the #athleteinside challenge which launched TODAY with Designer Protein and Ben Zorn (yep, the Ben Zorn); it’s chock full of body weight workouts and great tips to get your strong on. To win prizes, make sure you check in on Instagram or Facebook as you do the workouts or follow nutrition plans.
The tags are:
#AthleteInside @zorn_fitness @designerprotein @vitaminshoppe #designerprotein #sweatpink
#AthleteInside, Zorn Fitness, Designer Protein, Vitamin Shoppe
And if you need even more good sweaty challenges this week to kick your inner athlete into SUPER high gear, hop on to our Flex & Flow HIIT Yoga challenge and kick your workouts up a notch. OH MY LEGS. OH MY CORE!
There’s truly nothing like HIIT Yoga that brings the inner athlete out in us all! It’s the best, sweatiest workout you’ll ever do!
How do you embrace your inner athlete? When did you first fall in love with working out?
Stay sweaty friends!