I was never one who enjoyed sitting still. Being active was always a passion of mine and still is, but my journey to finding what my body needed regarding physical activity was a rough one and I am still recovering. Have you every pushed yourself to a point where you are broken down, exhausted and unhappy? Why do we choose to wake up and do that every day? My body was screaming to stop but I fought it every day until my doctor told me to stop. I’m going to share what I have chosen to do with my life for physical activity and it was the best choice I ever made!
|1 Corinthians 6:19 |
“Or do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
As I have mentioned earlier, as soon as I got to college I started running every day on a treadmill for two miles and walked up and down hills to class to avoid taking the bus. I did this not to enjoy being outside, but to burn more calories so I would not feel bad eating some chips at my sorority event. This mindset consumed me and then I continued to do hot yoga classes to sweat even more. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hot yoga and still do it, but more for relaxation. Yoga is wonderful for stretching, setting a peaceful mindset and adjusting your body to what it needs that day. I highly recommend it! However, day after day I put stress on my body by looking in the mirror and feeling great about myself, until my knees starting hurting really bad whenever I bent them. I bought a brace and still went to the gym every day. I continued my exercise routine and then my hip flexors started to feel like they were ripping to a point where I couldn’t walk to class. I still tried to hike every hill and step to get those extra physical activities in until one day I was laying on an X-ray table and the doctor told me to stop running because the muscle tissue in my hip flexors were wearing away. My thought was, how am I going to keep weight off if I can’t run? My mindset had to change and the Lord made that clear to me on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.
My doctor told me to take barre classes or water aerobics to heal but I was stubborn and tried to do my midweek run on this Wednesday. This only resulted with me crying alone in my apartment while sitting on an ice pack. I was suppose to be getting ready for church but refused to go. My roommate walked in to my surprise because she was suppose to be somewhere else and told me she had a feeling that I was going to fight going to church that night and insisted I went, so off I went to worship. Ignoring every word of the sermon, I was so upset because I didn’t want to sit there with puffy eyes until all of a sudden, mid-sermon, this man hopped on stage and said,
“We need to stop looking at our physical self and saying we aren’t good enough. We need to minimize ourselves and magnetize Him.”
Mind blown. God clearly was talking to me and from that day forward I was determined to find a physical activity that would heal me, bring me joy and feed me strength in the right way.
Welcome to Barre!
I finally decided to listen to my doctor and went back to the sport I loved the most, barre class. I grew up taking ballet classes, but this upbeat workout shakes every muscle, stretches you out and puts no impact on your joints. In class, I am toning my body by doing small movements that engages all muscles. I found my workout home at the local barre studio, Barre Company, where I am encouraged by teachers and am now addicted! I have learned that in order for your body to heal, you have to find something you love. Barre techniques are not like any other exercise class because you are doing multiple reps of small range-in-motion movements. I still love changing classes up and will go to spin and yoga classes, but my body reacts best to a barre workout. What works best for your body? I have learned that I no longer have to run miles to feel amazing. Although there are days where I will take jogs on beautiful days, I don’t have to beat my body to the ground.
I want to encourage you to take a step away from workout machines and find a workout community full of friends that will keep you on the right track. Below you will see my beautiful friend who inspired me to take barre and is my inspiration in every class. She encourages me in my faith and pumps me up with music before every class. I can lean on her to keep me on the right track, whether that is resting or holding my plank for a few more minutes. Find someone in your life who warms your heart like she warms mine because I no longer run alone in a gym. I wake up and enjoy my coffee, take beautiful long walks before barre, enjoy sweet conversation with people after class, and look at myself as God’s creation. Tomorrow is a new day. How will you spend it?
*Photography by: Danielle Wilson / featuring Hannah Kerr and Danielle Wilson at Barre Company*