If you are reading this, I am sure you know that we all have our own reasons for, “Why I get ripped.” If I can have a minute of your time let me share my Ripped journey with all of you…
I was an athlete up until my college graduation, but like so many of us, I began working and “life” got in the way of exercise. I focused on success in my career and taking care of others. This included those in my personal and professional life. By early 2015 my exercise routine was non-existent, and I was over-worked, stressed out and not taking care of myself. I had also found myself with superficial and unfulfilling relationships in my personal life, and with a career that I had no passion for.
And then in the winter of that same year, I went through one of the most difficult personal situations of my life. I found myself heartbroken with most of my personal life falling apart right in front of me. And in my grief, I realized something. I had completely lost sight of the things that make me happy. I was worrying about making everyone else around me happy, but neglecting myself, both mentally and physically. And so, I began to pick up the pieces of my life. I decided right then and there, that from this point forward, I was going to put myself first.
My 2016 resolution was to start exercising again, eat better, sleep better, and just generally love myself a little bit more. My second resolution was to run Broad Street. And so I started running (sort of). I would be lying if I said it was easy getting back into in. In fact, I was embarrassed try any fitness classes because of how out of shape I felt. And so I got up at 5 am, ran in the dark so no one would see me. But slowly my endurance came back, and through all the sore muscles and workouts where I didn’t want to wake up, somehow I pushed through. Those first five months were HARD. I was not perfect, but what I remember most about that time, was that I continued to show up and move forward. Even after I had a terrible workout, missing a planned workout, I continued to push forward, because I knew I needed to do it for myself
That May I ran Broad Street for the first time, and I finished! All that mattered to me was crossing that finish line and proving to myself that I was still capable of doing it. This might sound a little crazy, but hitting that goal finally gave me the strength to move on from all the negatives in my life and focus on myself. It helped heal my heart and I finally felt strong enough to move on. I did some crazy things after that. I quit my job, hiked the Salkantay Trail to Macchu Picchu and distanced myself from all the things my life that brought me down.
I came back from that trip completely revitalized. I got myself job that gave me fulfillment and passion and I continued exercising. By this time, I felt “fit” enough to start group exercise classes. Eventually I wandered into Ripped for my first class. I was feeling pretty good by the first Butt and Legs class that I tried with Katie. Well, let me tell you, I couldn’t walk for a week after that. But I felt physically and mentally challenged, and I felt better. I had more energy during the day and was sleeping better at night.
Slowly, I found myself coming to Ripped consistently, because it is a positive, judgment free environment. Every work is a challenge both physically and mentally. No workout is the same, and I guarantee that it was always be HARD. I definitely complain a lot and some days really really suck, but I continue to get up, and show up both for classes and in my life. I would love to say that the physical benefits are what keep me coming back, but that simply is not true. I keep coming back because I believe the mental challenge of this workout, translates into a strong mental attitude toward life. Ripped has given me that.
So if you are still reading this, the past three years of my fitness journey taught me one big lesson. You cannot take care of anyone else, unless you take care of yourself first. So if you are thinking about starting Ripped (or any sort of exercise), remember that the most important thing in your life is YOU, and you have to take care of you first. You will likely find there are lots of physical benefits (crop tops and skinny jeans), but those are just superficial. What you also may find is strength, both mental and physical, to take on the challenges that life brings