Last week, I set a goal for myself (actually, I do this every week) to workout 5 times. I write the goal on the top of my planner, and every day that I do a workout, I reward myself with a sticker. A giant sticker at the top of the planner means that I completed my goal for the week. I keep track of the classes I go to, my individual runs, and the amount of time that I exercise for. It really helps me to keep track of my workouts and feel as if I’m completing something.

My reward system

For workout 4, I went to a class that I’ve never been to before – rather, I’ve been to the class, but with a different instructor. The second the class started, I felt extremely frustrated that I couldn’t really do any of the exercises; it was like everything was so complicated and advanced and fancy, and I felt so weak and defeated! I felt like I couldn’t even do the modifications the instructor offered! I stuck the class out, and was happy that I made it through, but ultimately felt kind of silly and, to be honest, fat and out of shape. I know how important it is to, in the words of Dorie from Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming,” but sometimes swimming feels painful.

I realized a few things from this experience. The first is that I can not run on empty – exercising four days in a row may just be too much for me. I can certainly push myself, and push hard, but my body needs proper rest and recovery in order for me to do the things I want to do. I have realized this before, but maybe I didn’t really learn my lesson. I think I felt so frustrated with the class because I was really tired and sore from previous workouts. Something a little less intense may have been alright, but this class was so hardcore that I didn’t feel good about it. Secondly, I’m realizing that not every kind of exercise is something that I’ll like. It’s great to try new things, but at the end of the day exercise has to be fun, something that I want to do, not something I have to force myself into. The instructor was really nice and helpful, but I think that it’s ok that I didn’t like the particular class; it just wasn’t for me.

The trick is to stop myself from feeling defeated. In those kinds of situations, you just have to dig in and do the best you can!

– Hannah