“I'm a firm believer that the body was built to move. To run, jump, climb, lift heavy things, crawl and stretch, etc.
"Once I became healthier [after disordered eating], I dove back into dance, an exercise I truly love. I attended Zumba classes with an old roommate and didn't try to figure out the calories I burned. I started taking dance technique classes with a dance group on campus, in which I learned how to do jumps, turns, and leaps I'd always wanted to do but never learned how to growing up. I realised how cool it is and how privileged I am that my body can (or at least attempt to) do so many fancy, impressive dance moves. My exercise was far from about punishment at this point: my exercise turned into learning choreography and feeling proud of myself when I improved. I even became one of the winners of the technique award due to my commitment and improvement."
"After I climbed a few times, I had a revolutionary realization: I didn’t hate it. It was different from any exercise I’d tried before, full of static motion and mental puzzles. I finished each session drenched in sweat, but it was a sweat that I had worked for, a sweat during which I had actually done things. It felt so much better than just running aimlessly. Simply getting to the top of the rock wall doesn’t sound all that amazing, and it wasn’t really. It was just something different, and something that has truly changed the way I feel about my body and my physical fitness."
“It puts me in a good mood, a good frame of mind for the day. No matter how my day goes, I always feel good about starting in the gym. I feel strong. I feel healthy. Mentally, I feel good.”
"Getting outside, being physical and enjoying some fresh air helps build that relationship with the natural environment and the love for the outdoors.”
“When I work out first thing in the morning and have a great workout, my social anxiety for the rest of the day is just gone. Almost everything is gone: my body dysmorphia is gone, my OCD, my depression, my anxiety.”
“I think that it is important, as you get old, that you don’t sit back and think ‘I’m getting old, I can just relax.’ If you want to keep going, you must keep active, and keep walking.’’
“I always wanted to be the best and to be on the podium as much as possible. But now, it’s completely different, and I exercise because it makes me feel great and gives me time to switch off mentally but tune in physically.”
"I think it’s about embracing working out as a lifestyle. People say, “Vernon, why are you so fit?” I always told people that I’m not working out to compete. I work out for a lifetime. I can use the workouts I present for a lifetime, and so can you. Working out is the foundation for living a healthy and active lifestyle. I have moments when I struggle a little bit, but I have to stay motivated."