What type of change did you make in your life? Or what goal did you set out to achieve? In 2020, our family started doing more outdoor activities such as hiking and biking to be active and still social distance. During a fall hike, I could not carry my youngest up a steep incline, as I was too out of breath. I had to rely on my oldest child to help get her safely up the trail. This was my aha moment. I needed to improve my health. In 2021, I was turning 40 years old, and I was determined to improve my activity and endurance. I began making diet changes and setting goals on my fitness watch. I started with walking in the skyways with coworkers during lunch breaks or arriving early to work to do laps around the buildings. In July, I had heard the DAHLC was re-opening to new members. This was my opportunity. I signed up that day. My original goal was to exercise 2-3 days a week.
What are some challenges you faced that elicited that change or that made you want to go for that goal? What barriers did you run into while pursuing your goal? The biggest challenge I had was setting aside time to exercise. I knew myself well enough that if I did not exercise before work that I would not exercise later in the day. I really struggled with the lack of sleep by getting up early to exercise before my workday. I remember hearing that it takes ~21 days for you to create a habit. I kept my alarm set every morning and powered through it.
What are some factors that helped you make that change or that helped you achieve your goal? List any specific services you used at the DAHLC. The energy from the DAHLC staff kept me coming back. Each morning that I arrived; staff greeted me by name. The staff were eager to help when I didn’t know how to strengthen my core (to prevent any back injuries). In addition, the online classes made it possible for me to exercise from home when it was my day off and it was “too cold” to go outside, or I didn’t “have time” to go in person. The variety of classes really helped keep me engaged and try new things.
What would you tell or encourage someone with who is in your old shoes and doesn’t know where to start? Anything in particular that inspired you throughout your journey? Just start - but start off slow. I think my biggest mistake in the past included trying to exercise too hard, too fast because I used to be able to do something. By starting out walking, I built my endurance and it made other exercises easier. Each day, exercising got easier, which kept me coming back. I started to feel more energized and started enjoying family activities more.
How does the future look different than it did before? I really enjoy exercising now. I look forward to going to the DAHLC in the mornings (listening to my audiobooks while I exercise) and am trying to exercise every day. I have even convinced my husband to join with me. I want this to be something that keeps us young and active. It’s a great feeling to be able to keep up with my kids and even challenge them during fitness activities. 😊