they say that the most difficult part of any journey, is taking the first steps. that is indisputably the case when it comes to getting in shape physically. when we feel good about ourselves and our bodies, it is easy to work out. however, when we are out of shape and uncomfortable in our own skin, it’s difficult to face up to the discomfort of those first few workouts. it is going to hurt. but the important thing to remember is that the pain is temporary, and it is going to be worth it.
in general, i always keep myself in good physical condition. but when beach volleyball season arises, i often times neglect other aspects of my physical training. yoga is always the first to go. i know that yoga is immeasurably beneficial, but it becomes hard for me to prioritize when i spend most of my available workout hours on the sand.
after a couple of months of long days training and competing, my body has started to express it’s need for some balance. my muscles have been tightening up, and my whole body has been feeling stiff. in an attempt to combat that stiffness, i made some lackluster attempts to stretch my muscles out at home. but it wasn’t doing the trick.
i knew what i needed to do; but i was admittedly dreading the short-term. getting back into yoga was going to be tough: working my way back into poses that have become uncomfortable, sweating my way through the heated classes, finding the patience to push through 75 minutes of awkward bending, trying to not compare myself to the regulars, and of course, the inevitable soreness that follows. but in spite of all of that, i finally got back on the mat.
now, two yoga classes later, i hurt … i hurt so good. and i sense the benefits of that hurt within reach.
anyone who has ever faced the discomfort of starting to exercise can relate to that hurt; and props to those who has pushed through. there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is brilliant enough to convince us to never look back.
within the past week, yoga has done quick work at exposing the parts of my body that i have been neglecting – mainly my lower back. i am two classes in. both were difficult, VERY VERY difficult. thankfully class 2 was substantially more enjoyable than class 1. today, my back soreness is starting to fade, and i feel the fluidity of my muscles coming back. i imagine it will take a minimum of 6 classes before yoga starts to feel natural again, but i know that the practice provides me with something that my beach volleyball training does not. if i want to be the most balanced and healthy version of myself, i need both. so i will push on.
this struggle i am experiencing to get back into yoga has had me thinking about all of the others out there who make the decision to become a happier and healthier version of themselves. i’ve discovered a few bloggers in particular who are documenting their personal journeys; and i thought their inspirational stories deserved a mention.
first and foremost is Betsy, of All Bets Are Off.
Betsy has managed to reverse her type 2 diabetes and lose 220 pounds. what a indescribably huge feat this woman has conquered in reclaiming her life. i can’t imagine the courage it has taken her to get to where she is today.
In her own words:
“It’s been four years, July 2, since I woke up knowing I had to change my life… I was 392 pounds at my heaviest. Type 2 diabetic, insulin-dependent, morbidly obese. I woke up on July 2 and decided that I no longer wanted to be ‘the walking dead’. I wanted to LIVE my life… I walked through the open door. And I am not going back.” From her great article What a Ride
another inspiration comes from a fellow red-headed blogger who’s insightful words and beautiful blog continually keep me coming back for more. Brey of Ordinary Adventures, documents her “everyday adventures of a one of a kind girl,” including, but not limited to, her workout goals.
i love her own words here, that explain her pride in her physical accomplishments:
“This whole series was a huge eye opener for me. It was a struggle to get up almost every other day and work my body. Most weeks I couldn’t. But every time I did, I was so sore, tired, and proud.” From her great article: Workout Wednesdays – Pinterest workout series review
LINDSEY and KYLE
last but not least, comes the words from an adorable hiking duo. Lindsey and Kyle of Tandem Trekking. sometimes the biggest rewards in life, are the ones that are the least expected. Lindsey describes in this engaging article, how her physical accomplishments on the trails have impacted her life in ways beyond her imagination.
“If you had asked me at that point what I thought my greatest achievement would be three or four years down the road I would never have guessed it would be a physical feat… The reason for this is because I was never an athlete or a dancer. I had never focused on a trade, ever learned to make anything with my hands. I wasn’t used to my accomplishments being performed by my body, but instead they were things thought up in my head. But two years after graduating from college I hiked the Appalachian Trail and that has been, thus far, the most important and grandiose event in my life.” From her great article: Life’s Greatest Accomplishment.
the most difficult part of any journey, is taking the first steps, but we can’t let the fear of the first steps hold us back from reaping the long term benefits.
therefore, i will yoga on, until i am limber as a goose. if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. and it will be worth it.