I knew that physical activity would help my body, but I didn’t know the impact it would have on my mental wellbeing too.
If there is one thing that the 90-Day Fitness Challenge at Steve Nash taught me, it’s that consistency and accountability are critical factors when you’re changing your lifestyle. I couldn’t have expected the curve balls that would come my way between February – when I started the challenge – to May, when I finished it. Turning to fitness and keeping a consistent routine helped me stay motivated and focused throughout a challenging stretch of life. Being strong, I learned, meant so much more than just building muscle.
Let’s go back to the first post I wrote for Steve Nash on February 2.
“Getting from where I am right now to, say, the best shape of my life, is overwhelming to think about. So instead, I’m aiming to make small but meaningful changes that feel manageable. This journey is about finding my why.”
And that I did.
On February 10, while in New York, I wrote about working out while traveling. The routine focused primarily on deep stretching and becoming familiarized with my body again. But something happened during that trip that went far beyond finding the time to follow a fitness plan. I realized that I needed much more fire in my life. I needed more lightness, more freedom, and more space to grow. I thought about this while my face was planted in the bed, in the middle of a child’s pose.
One morning in early March, about 20 days into the challenge, I woke up with a truth weighing on my heart that I couldn’t shake: I had fallen out of love, and fallen into friendship, with my partner of seven years. No yoga mats, squats, kettlebell swings, or jumping jacks would ease the strain of that realization. What followed was a blog post about building trust with your personal trainer, who not only becomes your motivator but also your confidant. Brendan and Craig – the two I worked with during this challenge – were with me every step of the way, in every sense.
And so, on March 10, after clearing my head with the help of a sweaty workout, I left my personal training session and finally ended the relationship.
Each week afterwards, I pushed myself to work harder at Steve Nash, attend group classes, and follow my meal plan. I discovered the value of investing in myself. Nurturing my body with a good sweat felt like a cleanse. Fuelling my body with good food also fed my soul. And throughout the 90 days, I learned that whatever the hell you need to do to get you through, you do.
The same can be said about a breakup. Or most things that help you grow.
Did this challenge come into my life at the perfect time? I am inclined to say no. It came at the worst time. It came when it was really hard to get out of bed some days. When I would have rather said no. When it would have been easier to neglect my body instead of adding another facet of discomfort with a new fitness routine. It came at a time when I wanted to binge on chocolate and wine rather than follow a healthy meal plan. It came at the worst time, and exactly the time I needed it the most. That’s often how life’s greatest lessons are delivered, isn’t it?
Had I waited for the right moment, I wouldn’t be where I am now. As the 90-Day Fitness Challenge comes to an end, so is my dependence on it. I feel strong enough now to keep the momentum going myself. I’m prepared to close this chapter of my life and move forward into a new day. As pre-breakdown Britney Spears once said, “I’m stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my way.”