when training turns into therapy
For the past 10 years, fitness has been a part of my life. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Meaning: For most of my adult-life, I have worked out. Not necessarily because I am one of those sporty girls that has to be active all the time, but rather because I love food and simply don’t have the genes to maintain the figure I have without a bit of exercise. All this time – while I was a frequent visitor at the gym and went on regular runs – I never understood people who referred to the therapeutic benefits of fitness. Sure, sweating is healthy and all, but where was that runner’s high everyone kept talking about?
Now, a good 10 months into a different kind of training, I have come to understand what it feels like when training turns into therapy. And with all that pre-holiday stress, festive feasting and those New Year’s resolutions on the agenda, I found it only fitting to talk about a different approach to fitness as part of this year’s Mission Christmas. Let’s face it, there is no way around Mama’s incredible Christmas cookies, but come January 1st, most of us will set goals, sign up for gym memberships and start working out again – which I love. A new year is a clean slate. A perfect time to make changes and to work on self-improvement.
My total look is from the Pop Impressions space at Peek & Cloppenburg. Inspired by the stars, all that glitters and the far out galaxy, the pop-up concept currently features star-spangled brands like Koral active wear, Tommy Jeans, Sennheiser tech gadgets and Diptyque candles (favorite present to give) and many more.
How it all started…
Back in March of this year, I started an experiment. I went to my first personal training session together with a friend. Needless to say, it was the best decision ever. Since that first training in March, not a week has gone by that I haven’t trained with Oti, our trainer – mostly offline, but also online via video trainings (read my full review on 3 months of personal training here). While I am well aware of the fact that not everyone has the opportunity (or financial means) to train with a personal trainer, I think that there are so many more components that go into finding what is right for you, what feeds your soul and keeps your head from drifting off into outer space. When I step inside the Skillbeast Jungle (the studio I train at), I instantly feel my mood lift and know the next 50 minutes are just like therapy. I always leave feeling better, happier and healthier.
Training vs. Therapy
- the buddy concept: I am a social person. Always have been, always will be. I don’t like being alone, I don’t like it when it is too quiet and I find it much easier to be motivated with inspiring people around me. Hence, a workout buddy is necessary (at least to me) in order to create a regular fitness routine and give a workout the priority it deserves. A buddy can be your best friend, a colleague or a trainer, but it has to be someone you won’t cancel on.
- make it a priority: to me, training has always been “important” but for years I didn’t treat it accordingly. Things that are important deserve a spot in your calendar. Set a date and time, make it a priority. It takes time and effort to create a habit that feels natural. While it took a lot of work to make room for 2-3 trainings per week in the beginning, it now feels weird to go 2 days without training. Now, I can’t imagine a week without at least 2 workouts. Also, as harsh as it sounds, I have also found that spending money on something makes it easier to make it a personal priority.
- it shouldn’t be about the scale: I will be the first to admit that in the past, I measured progress by the number on the scale. I used to step on it first thing in the morning. Even though I never felt too controlled by it, once training turns into something more than just a way to maintain your confection size, the numbers shouldn’t (and won’t) matter. That’s why, in August I decided to put our scale away. Do I wear a different size clothing now, after 10 months of personal training? No. Do I feel amazing? Yes. Am I proud of the way my body has changed? Yes. It is not something that is visible in a t-shirt and jeans, but I feel so strong, I walk on heels so easily now (thanks to all those tiny muscles) and I definitely don’t need a scale to tell me that.
- exhaustion: with personal training and Oti’s functional training method, I felt a whole new level of exhaustion post-training. I am not talking about a bright red face from running in the summer heat, but rather a muscle- and bone-deep exhaustion. One that makes you feel so incredibly accomplished and proud of your body. This exact exhaustion, is something that has had the most therapeutic effect for me personally. So much, that a training session ended in tears. As someone who always wants to be in control and keep it all together, the physical exhaustion has helped me to let go emotionally too. At a certain point (=too much to do, too many travels, too little sleep), my trainer noticed how drained I was and made me jump rope for 7 minutes straight. Until I was so physically exhausted that I broke down in tears. I left the studio sobbing, but arrived at home feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
Long story short: I know I am just another person to tell you that training can be so much more than just a six-pack and lean legs but maybe 2019 will be your year, just like 2018 was mine. If you really want to turn your training into therapy, stick with it consistently for 4-6 months, take it week by week but make it a priority, fuel your body the right way and find someone on the same mission as you!
outfit details: TOMMY JEANS sweatshirt & baseball cap, KORAL ACTIVE leggings, ADIDAS sneakers, EDITED coat
in paid collaboration with Peek & Cloppenburg