Growing up, I always played sports, from little league all the way through high school. Then college happened, and to say it was a wake-up call was an understatement. I went from working out 3 hours a day to nothing. The two donuts I was pocketing in the dining hall on the way to class weren’t doing me any favors. Then, combine that with the leisurely walk I did as my “exercise” and you can imagine what happened. Hello, freshman 15. Ugh, it was the worst. Pushing myself to work out alone was hard. I had been accustomed to a team environment my entire life. There was always someone there to push you. Finally, I convinced my roommate (shout out to Mini Me) to go “running" with me, and I used that term loosely. We usually ended up at Mi Cocina finishing our workout with endless chips and Mambo Taxis. Slowly, we started walking less and running more, and I realized that working out didn’t suck as much as I thought. I began to love getting outside and having time to clear my mind. Now, it is part of my daily routine; there is rarely a day that I don’t run. So these are the five things that get me out the door (because that's the hardest part) every day to work out.
Fresh Air: I do NOT belong to a gym. Truthfully, I can’t stand gyms. Something about the smell and monotony of the same machines just doesn’t do it for me. First of all, you have to get there before your workout even starts, then I sit in the locker room and procrastinate FOREVER about working out. If I had just gone out my front door for a run, I would have already been done by now. A huge part of working out for me is the fresh air; it gets the endorphins going. Living in Connecticut doesn’t always provide me with the best weather to be outside but I have learned to layer, layer, and then layer some more. Now, rain, shine, sleet or snow, I am always out there.
Accomplishment: Sometimes, the thought of working out makes me ill. I have those days where I just can’t seem to muster up the motivation to get out the door. But I always tell myself I will feel better when it's done, and every time, I do. Every time I get back, I feel so much better, accomplished. Not to mention it makes the margaritas taste better.
Exploring: I always say running is the best way to see a new place. You can see so much more of a city, scouting out places while you run. Out of all the places I have traveled, the only place where I didn’t run outside was Africa. Usually, if you're running in the bush, it's because you're being chased. So, jogging on safari was sort of out of the question. Thank you, but I prefer to see the lions from the truck. When I run at home, I make sure to change up my route every few days. Seeing the same things every day can make you feel like you are on the treadmill, something I try desperately to avoid. It's amazing how the smallest of changes can make a huge difference.
Jump Starts My Day: When I have to be at work at 6 am, it can be hard to get out the door for a run at 5 am, especially when it's dark and cold out. But I am so much more awake and productive when I get to work after a run. Running gets the blood flowing and starts my day off on the right foot. Not to mention that after a 12-hour day, working out when you get home can seem impossible.
Results: For me, it’s not about losing weight. In the beginning, it was about shedding the freshman 15 and getting back to my formerly fit self, but now, it's about my peace of mind and making sure that I get at least 30 minutes a day to clear my head. I am not going to lie though; seeing results doesn’t hurt either. When I actually stick to a routine and eat healthy, I feel better, my skin looks better, and that imaginary six-pack shows just a little. All of these push me harder. Makes those 5 am runs in the pitch-black darkness worth it.
For those of you around the Greenwich, CT area who aren’t a huge fan of the gym but might need a little extra push that a group workout gives you, Pete Deleary runs a butt-kicking boot camp class OUTSIDE. There are about eight classes a week, everything from TRX class to endurance class (my personal favorite) to boot camp class. You can find the schedule that he updates every week on Facebook. The group is called Greenwich Bootcamps. Make sure to check it out; you won’t regret it.