Generally speaking, I’m pretty active; some might say that I can be a little too intense. Yet, I have my ups and downs just like everyone else. The only physical activity I did as a teenager was downhill skiing. I loved skiing because I enjoyed spending time outdoors. Nothing beats getting a breath of fresh air!

cross fit, active, sportSource: Pexels

Like many of you, I’m sure, I didn’t do much physical activity during my university years. Between classes, work, exams, internships and my first real job… I had little time to think of myself. Let’s just say that my health was not a priority.

A few years later, I was shocked by what I saw in a photo taken of me during a weekend spent in the USA. Was that really what I looked like? It’s not the number on the scale or the images in the magazines that made me uncomfortable… it was the image I was projecting. That moment was a real eye opener. A few months later, I changed jobs and started going to a gym. I, who seldom did any physical activity, was now working out at a gym! I was so proud of myself!

At first, it took a lot of willpower and organization on my part to fit two one-hour sessions into my schedule. Going with a friend kept me accountable; moreover, it kept me motivated. Who doesn’t enjoy spending time with friends?! Phase One, accomplished!

Over time, the two hours I spent at the gym became an integral part of my week. I gradually increased the time I spent working out and I started doing a variety of physical activities during the weekend (like hiking, snowshoeing, climbing, indoor surfing, paddle boarding, canoeing…). An active lifestyle became a way of life, both for my physical and mental health.

There was a period, last December, when I lacked the motivation to exercise. My sessions were less effective when they became fewer and farther apart. A change of administration at the gym where I worked out ended up being a change for the worse. The solution was very simple! I enrolled in crossfit training at another gym. It wasn’t so much “crossfit” in the traditional sense, it was rather a mixture of very intense and varied workouts done in small groups.

The training brought sweating to a whole new level! My first workout left EVERY part of my body in pain for 4 days. Wah! The reward? Every class ended with all of the participants exchanging handshakes and words of congratulation. Nice, right?

The intensity and challenge of the training, in addition to the ambience, motivated me to do more: more frequent workouts, better nutrition, better sleep, better attention to every muscle in my body… The result? I adore my new lifestyle! Have I become a “muscle woman”? Not by a long shot, I love food far too much for that! Do I feel better in my own skin and am I fully aware of my potential? Absolutely! Am I motivated to work out every week? You bet I am!

All that to say, if you want to become more active, you can do it. Figure out what motivates you, be it within yourself, among your entourage, the type of music played at the gym, or the sound of your footsteps as your feet hit the pavement when you’re running. Above all else, do it for you because it gives you pleasure and does you good. Do it where and when you wish. Integrate it gradually within your routine. You can do it if it’s what you really want. I give you my word, being physically active will eventually become second nature.

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Maryse Bégin

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