Living my best life through strength training

Laura Koscinski, Staff Writer

From the time I was 14, fitness has been a part of my life. Whether or not I enjoy it changes as I try new things. What’s interesting about this that while I make fitness a priority, I am by no means good at sports.

I have done various sport camps like tennis, volleyball, and I was even on the track and field team in middle school. Of course it is good to try new things, but the one thing I have learned from participating in all the sport camps and teams I have is that I suck at sports. I have absolutely no athletic ability, yet I keep considering playing sports anyway.

I am fine with not being good though, because I can still get a lot of exercise in by working out. In middle school I took power training randomly as an elective, and most of my peers were confused as to why I took the class because at the time I was literally skin and bones. Despite their judgement, I enjoyed the class and gained strength.

After that class, I didn’t actually exercise daily until my freshman year of high school. At the time, despite how much I hated it, all I did was cardio. Because I didn’t enjoy it whatsoever, I had to force myself to do it everyday. My lack of interest in cardio caused me to make routines and quit them and make routines and quit them again and this process continued over and over. I had almost no motivation to workout or eat healthy. With this mindset, I didn’t get where I wanted to.

Now that I have started strength training, I really enjoy working out…and by enjoy, I mean I am obsessed. Just four months ago is when I was introduced to strength training through Youtube. I was browsing through the app one day when I found this girl who had a ton of workout videos. It grabbed my attention and since then, I’ve watched almost all of them. Seeing her and a ton of others on social media who were strength training, I decided to give it a try. I had no experience with working out that wasn’t cardio-related, so when I stepped into the gym for the first time, I had no idea what to do or how to use any of the machines. Although I am personally not a huge fan of YouTube, I go on there almost daily just to get updated with new exercises to try or healthy snack ideas.

Getting into fitness has certainly changed me physically, but I think more so I have changed mentally. I have become a more motivated person internally, and because of that, I am not willing to quit so quickly. I have learned that everyone is going to come across days where the motivation to do great isn’t there, but that can’t stop me from achieving what I want to. I don’t necessarily need something or someone to constantly motivate me because I have goals and I am willing to do what it takes to meet them. In addition to working out, I actually have began to eat pretty healthy. I am not perfect and I eat unhealthy at times of course, but in general I try to eat as healthy as I can. Because I am technically trying to gain weight, I get to eat a lot more than in my previous workout plans as well.

Aside from motivation, because I go to straight to the gym after school, I feel that I am better with time management. Last year when I got home from school, a typical afternoon would be me grabbing a snack, laying in bed and watching Netflix, and then finally getting to my homework. Now that I don’t even have time to do engage in non-productive behaviors,  I am not tempted to; in fact I would rather go to the gym than lay in bed. One of the most important things about getting in shape is that you don’t do it for others. I know that a lot of people feel like they will be accepted if they get in shape, but that shouldn’t be a reason to do it. My experience so far with working out has taught me that being committed to something that you enjoy will make you a happier and more productive individual overall, and that is one of the best presents you can give yourself.