On Exercise as a 20 Something

I’d like to talk about exercise today. You can either skip this one or keep reading, but let’s get one thing clear: this is a no judgement zone.

I was an “athlete” my entire life. I put athlete in quotes because some people consider themselves an athlete if they exercise once a month, and others consider only Olympians athletes so I don’t want you to think I’m labeling myself this kick ass athlete. I’ll stop with the disclaimers now.

(I included some random shots of us doing something fitness related to breakup all the text. You’re welcome.)

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And then this thing called college happened. I stopped working out 5x per week and I drank beer. Okay well more like really cheap vodka, but you get the point.

I was a lucky freshman in that I was the world’s pickiest eater when I was 18, so I didn’t gain the freshman 15. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t healthy. No, no. I went from working out all the time and being in the best shape of my life, to practically doing no physical activity unless you count walking to class exercise. (Freshman, this doesn’t count as exercise.)

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And while I “exercise” nowadays, I don’t necessarily know how I feel about it. I know you’re supposed to get 30 minutes of physical activity in per day, but it’s SO hard to go from being in the best shape ever, to struggling to feel fit again.

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It’s like another thing that 20 somethings are supposed to figure out. The world throws us into real life with things like taxes, mortgages, student loans, the need to feed ourselves and on top of all that, we have to figure out a way to feel like we’re that 16-year-old on the court again.

I know what you’re thinking: “go run around the block.” Or better yet: “don’t get out of shape in the first place.” But here’s the thing: it’s not the same!

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It’s just not. It’s harder when you’re older. When you’re not on a team. When you’re not playing for a championship or college scholarship.

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So yesterday I broke out the running shoes that I got for my birthday. Yes, I’m well aware that my birthday was in January and that was two longs months ago. No need to leave a comment letting me know.

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I know that you’re only 25 once and when I’m 80, I don’t want to regret having the ability to be in great shape and not using that ability. So I really don’t know what the whole point of this post is, other than it was a really long winter and I’m a total wimp when it comes to exercising outside in the winter and I’ve had serious cabin fever and yesterday’s run just felt GOOD. Like really good. 

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And we all know that I am not a runner and it’s really something I’ve never thoroughly enjoyed, but I signed up for the Color Run 5K in June with Kevin and friends, and hoping that the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Feb. 2015 is in my future.

Any other recent college grads out there struggling to feel fit, like the good ole days?

What’s the best race you’ve ever participated in?

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10 thoughts on “On Exercise as a 20 Something

  1. Gabby!!! Yess this is my life!!! And it’s even worse since my major is/was exercise science! It’s like life happened and now I’m trying to fix myself in the midst of it all!! Love it!

  2. Oh, man. I totally feel you on this post! I mean, I try to get active every day in some shape or form, but it’s really, really hard when I get winded doing things like carrying groceries up stairs. Still, I know that my body will change as we get older and we just have to stay as fit as we can. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a “womanly” body instead of a teenage body, right?

    A body in motion stays in motion–that’s my motto. And that’s about all I can ask of myself I think.

    Good for you signing up for some races! The Color Run was fun, but you have to work to get a colorful shirt if the course is crowded. Unless you just want to get all your color at the end at the party zone.

    I’d LOVE to do a Disney race—but it’s not in the cards right now. My favorite race ever was the Bass Pro Marathon last year…because I freaking ran a marathon. And it was the best feeling ever to accomplish that–even though I ran slowly and walked some of it and had a stress fracture during my training. I still cried at the finish line, and sometimes when I’m running now, I get all full of feelings when I think about running all those miles…

    I used to HATE running, but now, it is one of a few things that truly keeps me sane and happy. Even though I’m super duper slow. Keep up the good work!

    (Sorry for the loooong comment. This is just an issue I totally agree with you on!)

    • Running a marathon, even if it’s “super slow” as you say, is AMAZING! I’m so impressed! Definitely all things to work towards. But right now, it’s baby steps. Just a little more physical activity today than yesterday and so on.

  3. I struggle with this too. In college it was so easy to work out/stay fit:
    1. The gym was free
    2. I had friends to keep me accountable (I mean I have friends we just don’t all live together so it’s different)
    3. I could get credit for taking dance classes
    4. I walked everywhere

    Post-college I did really well for a while and then I fell off the wagon over the summer, but I’m working to get back on it again now!

    • You’re so right! We walked probably way more than we realized, and now that I’m at a 9-5, it’s really pathetic how little I move unless I’m actively exercising.

  4. If you like a challenge, try running a Ragnar event. Team of up to 12 running 200 miles over 48 hrs. Each person has 3 legs. I participated in one from Madison to Chicago and it was a lot of fun!

  5. Agree with everything you said! I was in such good shape in high school, played on multiple sports teams year round. Didn’t realize how lazy I got in college until my new friend was *shocked* to find out I used to be an “athlete”. I was a little offended but realized by my current lifestyle, she’d have no reason to see an athlete in me. So I took a yoga class to get back in the swing of things and played a lot of pick-up sand volleyball games. But I’m too socially awkward to just join a random team in a new city now. I want to play volleyball again so bad! Team sports are the only exercise that’ll hold my attention. Running alone is so boring.

    Anyways. Yes, I feel ya.

    • YES! I feel like if I met me now, as a 16-year-old, I’d laugh! Like how do you go from being super fit and athletic and active to THIS? Not that I gained weight or pant sizes, but I just don’t feel like a young, fit, athletic person anymore. I’m so glad others agree because I was definitely feeling like I’m the only one! If you find a volleyball team, like one for fun, let me know because I will SO be there!

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