Was I Always Sporty?
At the age of seven I had already tried out rhythmic gymnastics, ballet, and swimming. Like many kids at this age I was just trying to understand what I liked. Nothing special there, no talent or special tendencies. And it was me asking to follow a new training or class. I'd go to school, I'd hear about a new activity I never heard before and then I'd go back home and ask my parents to let me try it out.
By the time I was ten or eleven I joined a local athletics team and trained mainly in Sprint Hurdles. And I was good. I remember I was good.
Then one day I stopped with organised training. I stopped with sports activities altogether, except neighborhood games and biking around when we had time.
I started thinking about all this lately because many people keep asking me if I was always into sports and exercise. So I guess I was. But I never chose to follow it till the end. I don't know what happened and why I stopped. I suspect it was fear. The fear I wouldn't be able to be good enough to make a living out of it. Because even at this young age we were brought up to have one goal, go to the University. Gymnasium, Lyceum, University. Piano lessons and language lessons on the side. Sports? No time. Recreational activities? Yes. Serious training commitment? Not possible.
Years later, I remember myself always having a gym subscription. Even when I was an international student and there was no money for things like gym subscriptions. And it was such a different environment back then! Nothing similar to the latest hype. In a gym in Spain back in 1999 I was almost the only girl using the treadmill and the fitness machines.
Then more years went by, I developed my hard-partying side. I enjoyed it, it was always my choice. No exercise, no training. Partying, smoking, drinking. Great years when we could get away with anything.
And then I went back to who I was. Because we always go back to who we really are. We wander around, we try out things, and we go back to what we're meant to be doing. And if there're people out there not doing that, it's because they're tied to situations difficult to untie themselves from. By the way, I hope everyone finds their way. And actually it's always a work-in-progress, to figure things out.
So suddenly one day many years ago, I joined a yoga class. I still to this day remember the teacher. I remember her face, her voice, her energy. I think she's the reason I got hooked with yoga. Good teachers are so important, I love good teachers.
And then I got hooked on running. It was a 12' run and I was out of breath. It was a 12' run out in the Vondel Park. We were so few people running back then. I mean not few but definitely fewer than the number of people running nowadays. And no track performance applications.
That's it. We're almost at the end of my fitness story. After that and for the last 15 years, training is part of my life. The same way I eat and sleep. I tried so many different sports, I tried mat Pilates (still need to try Amy's reformer classes), Power Yoga, Hot Yoga, any yoga, Cross-Fit, Body-pump, resistance training, you name it.
And when I see myself in a few years from now, I see a woman exercising, breathing, meditating, and leading other women and men to do the same. Physical exercise is key. No matter who you are, no matter your physical condition, physical exercise has to be one of your most important long-term life goals. And don't get fooled by the hype, don't get fooled by wellness experts. Get yourself a good teacher. A teacher that not only preaches but practices as well. It's not enough to talk about fitness, you need to live fitness in order to help other people getting fit.
Was I always sporty? I guess I was. Does it matter if you weren't? Absolutely not. Can you start now? Definitely, don't even wait! The best time is always now.