What Working Out Means to Me

WIRL Workout | WIRL Project

Until recently, I vowed that I would have an exclusive relationship with the workout system T25 for the rest of my life. Although I still have very strong feelings for the very effective 10 week DVD workout program, our relationship is starting to get a little “complicated” since my family and I made the decision to join the YMCA. I’ll be honest, in the beginning, I joined the Y because it offered 2 hours of childcare per day included in the price of the membership (don’t judge). I thought would use that two hours of childcare for my son to meet and play with some new friends while allowing me workout a couple days each week AND on the days I chose not to workout, I could use that “kid-free” time to sit in the lounge and get some WIRL Project work done. I know, I know, probably not the BEST reason to “join” the gym in the first place, but for some reason I felt in my gut that it was the right decision. Plus, my husband wanted to have a place to play some basketball and shoot around before and after his workouts. It seemed like a win-win.

So, it came to our first day at the Y and I was nervous. I was nervous to drop my son off at the childcare (which he now LOVES) and I was nervous about taking a “group exercise” class. I hadn’t done any working out in a group setting since my college volleyball days…it had been a while and I wasn’t sure how I’d measure up. I dropped my son off and that went well, then I walked into the “Athletic Conditioning” class and saw that a lot of people already knew each other. I felt like the “new kid” at school because I didn’t know anyone! Anyway, the workout began and it was hard as hell. OMG, honestly it was kicking my ass. Then, to my left, these group of women, who I’d saw when I initially walked in, started cheering me on. They’d say, You got this, girl! or Keep going! Don’t give up! You’re doing great! and these few, out-of-breath words meant a lot to me. As I said before, I’d done “at-home” workouts by myself for years and I LOVED them! But, at this class at the Y, I had a bunch of people cheering me on and encouraging me to be better; it was awesome! This sort of thing does not happen when you’re in your living room doing the DVD all by yourself.

Then, to my left, these group of women, who I’d saw when I initially walked in, started cheering me on. They’d say, You got this, girl! or Keep going! Don’t give up! You’re doing great! and these few, out-of-breath words meant a lot to me.

At that moment, I was hooked. I knew it was the right decision to join the Y (see I told you), but it wasn’t until that little “boost” did I fully understand how this gym membership could fill a void in my life. Now, I go to class and socialize and workout with my gym buddies and I love it! I realized this was a big missing piece for me, especially after becoming a stay-at-home mom, and I also realized that it didn’t hurt to be around a bunch of motivated, awesome people on a regular basis!

So, for me, working out has always been about being strong, healthy, fit, and toned. I usually did it because I wanted to look good or to feel better about myself, and don’t get me wrong, those are still several of the reasons I do workout, but now, I really enjoy that little bit of competitiveness that I feel in the group class setting, even though there is never a “winner” or “loser”, the extra people around me keep me accountable, motivated, and offer words of encouragement when I really need them. I also like the fact that I can pay it forward and do that for someone else as well.

So, for me, the REAL reason I workout now is because I want to feel strong, in a physical way, but also in the fact that I want to be a part of something fun and social, that pushes me to be better than I currently am. There are not many places you can go in this day and age where people purposefully build you up and don’t try to bring you down; for me the gym is a positive place. I want to feel strong internally and translate that into confidence because the results I seek now are different than just the “body” I used to be aiming for (if that makes sense). My results aren’t really measured by numbers on the scale as much anymore (although those numbers still matter a lot to me), but more by the strength I feel when I pick up and play with my son or the feeling I get when I’m around such awesome like-minded people who are all trying to better themselves too; that’s the REAL reason I workout these days, and I LOVE it!

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Sara Brennan is the founder of WIRL Project and was also recently named as one of the Top 30 Under 30 Future Business Leaders of Charlotte, NC. In her spare time she loves to hang out with her Australian husband, Mitch, her toddler son, Mason, and her two dogs, Koby and Skeeter. She shares much of her life and thoughts in her writing and enjoying being around like-minded individuals who are authentic. Interested in contacting Sara about WIRL Project or other endeavors? Join the WIRL Project community or use the Contact form on the website to get in touch with her.

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