When the pandemic hit our shores in March and the prospect of quarantining although fresh and new in our minds kind of sent us into overdrive and in hindsight – we did what we could. We followed the quarantine rules and stayed inside our homes. We didn’t see family or friends for months on end and we figured out a way to get through it all. For me, I think I would’ve struggled massively without Jesus and community. Although the way I hung out with people changed and I became reliant on a strong wi-fi connection and dolce gusto machine I now find myself on the other side of… something sort of fascinated by how we were globally in some ways able to go into autopilot.
Ugly crying became a constant friend of mine and I found that most days my emotions were roller-coaster-like. There were some days full of sunshine and joy. I read wonderful books and got deep with housemates and some days I didn’t feel like I could keep my head above water. One habit I managed to acquire was working out. Yeah, I really said that, go back and read it again. Sometimes I really have to pinch myself that I actually started (and to this day, continued) to work out.
Working out is hard y’all 🤦🏽♀️
I remember the first time I properly worked out in what felt quite literally years and I was with my housemates unable to even get through the entire 30 minute workout without breathing heavily and feeling like I was going to faint. Within those first few months of working out, my goal was just to get through one without stopping. I found it incredibly difficult. But I loved how it made me feel, I could feel myself getting stronger (and really loving workout clothes). I have always had a love/hate relationship with my body and it’s only been in recent years that I’ve learned to love my body whatever shape I’m in. That my stretch marks are beautiful scars from how my body has adapted to different seasons in my life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a work in progress choosing to love the body God gave you. Have grace for yourself and don’t compare – everyone is on their own fitness journey and at different stages. You are brave and capable of even turning up for a workout!
When I would finish a workout I would love the accomplishment it brought. I had to keep reminding myself that my body is a temple and that I should start treating it like one. I started off doing 30 minutes 3 to 4 days a week, every week. Even getting into that kind of rhythm was hard.
I had the immense privilege of being able to work from home throughout, something that really kept me going was the realisation of that immense privilege. Whole industries were shutting down, millions of job losses were happening who am I to complain about sitting down for 8 hours at a computer screen when people were struggling to put food on the table? Every 3 or 4 days (weekends were for rest – if God did it, I most DEFINITELY have to do the same) as soon as I clock off at 5pm I searched for a workout, changed, filled my water bottle up and did the dang thing.
There were days when I thought SOD IT let’s just not and then days where I felt that, and did it anyway. I can safely say that I’ve never done a workout and felt bad about it. If you’re just getting started – it gets easier and then there will be times when you want to throw the metaphorical and physical towel in and eat a Mcdonalds. Keep on going. I see you, boo!
One thing I learned from different YouTube exercise people was that it’s ok to find a style of exercise that you enjoy. It can sometimes be a waste of time to continue on with something you aren’t even looking forward to putting energy into. Yeah, Ros, though, some of those days you HAVE to do abs and work on your core (no matter how many times I’ll refuse) but overall, I think you definitely need to enjoy the ride. Life’s too short to do sucky workouts. So nearly (nearly, just two months shy) a year from beginning to workout again, I can safely say that the style I’ve been really enjoying is DANCE. Man, I almost heard the jazz hands come out just then.
I’ve listed the workouts I really enjoy below, let me know if you’ve done any or have any in this style to recommend:
With over 5 million subscribers Popsugar Fitness has such a unique variety of workouts all at different levels with so many different styles. We’ve got Latin, hip-hop TABATA, barre, Zumba and so much more. This was the channel that started and very much still dominates the majority of my workout week. If you’re not motivated by a peppy American then it might not be the workout for you. I, however, very much respond to a peppy American telling me for the 100th time that “I CAN DO IT!” because somewhere between the workout and cooldown I think I lost it somewhere. This was the channel that started my workout wear envy. Beware, it’s all super cute! Here’s one of my favourites:
The Fitness Marshall
These are original dance workouts created by Caleb Marshall under the name The Fitness Marshall (genius) and I absolutely adore the fact that he includes women and men of all different sizes. When I follow people I like to feel represented in some way so I’m so glad I found this beautiful, energetic and infectious (in a good way) soul through Arielle Estoria’s Instagram story. Sometimes when I don’t feel like doing a half an hour workout of the same thing I’ll load 6 or 7 of these workouts to roughly make up to half an hour and then I do some kind of cool down/stretch to finish off. These dance workouts are simple movement, low-impact (sometimes) cardio and make you feel so good when you’ve finished them! Here’s one of my favourites:
I discovered these workouts just before the end of 2020 and I have no idea how I came across them but I’m so glad I did! Les Mills is described as fitness classes that are high-intensity interval training workouts and fun, physical activity. I’ve only done one or two of these and to be honest, some of the people in the comments complained about the camera angles/lights etc. but I absolutely LOVED it. I was also really pumped up by the soundtrack – whenever I finish this workout, well, whenever I finish ANY workout, I’m basically always sweating. I’m talking DRENCHED. And it feels great! I’d thoroughly suggest the one below:
Now I feel like the hit musical, Hamilton played a really important role in all of our lives last year (thank you to my good friend Jesse who let us borrow his Disney+). Fusing hip-hop, rap, R&B with the retelling of history and the curation of the financial system in America was just the best thang. I must’ve watched it with people at least 6 or 7 times and multiple times on my own! It eventually slipped so much into my mind that I must’ve put Hamilton in front of “workout” in the YouTube search bar. I found Kyra’s and I never looked back. If you love musicals, you will LOVE her workouts… you’re welcome!
Maybe one day I’ll love core workout and maybe get weights and resistance thingys. But for now, I’ll keep exploring a new love for dance/cardio and maybe later I’ll branch out! Please don’t forgot that you are immensely loved and please don’t forget that your worth can’t be found in how you look that will change and fade but that living in the freedom that Jesus brings is where wholeness is found.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.1 Timothy 4:8 (AMP)