“I work on a variety of machines, that mostly work upper and lower body with weights. I feel strong and I definitely feel like I am able to walk and get around better and more confidently. I just feel better overall. I’m really enjoying the class.”
"Running lets me clear my head. In moments where my depression would get the best of me, I found myself starting to turn to running instead of withdrawing from my social life and habits. It was on a run one day where I decided to tell my boyfriend everything, talk to my parents, and gather a support group around me. At the time I wasn't suicidal but I wonder what would have happened. It's incredible now that friends and family describe me as a 'woman who is making her life an incredible adventure."
"At first it was driven by vanity. I was in my late 40's, in menopause, and the changes were coming fast and furious...my skin was melting off like a waterfall, and I grew an impressive udder seemingly overnight. I started Barre and I saw improvements, some in just weeks. I felt really good, proactive, and strong; I loved the community I was tapping into, and it was the first form of fitness I have bonded with successfully.
"The end of my junior year of high school, I fell into a deep eating disorder. Within six months, it was to an unsustainable and unhealthy point, at over 45 pounds under my current weight. I've always been an athlete, but while I was sick, I had virtually stopped exercising, with the exception of the occasional light 20 to 30 minutes on the elliptical. Once I decided to get back into running, I had to fuel my body properly if I wanted to be strong and run fast. I made the decision to build my body back from the ground up. Within a few months of hard work and determination, I graduated high school with an again-healthy body and a healthy mind."
“Despite being overweight, I didn’t start exercising to change how I look. I haven’t lost more than a scant handful of pounds in the several months I’ve been working out regularly, and while I don’t look any different, my body feels different. More than that, I inhabit my body differently. I don’t quite have the ease (and definitely don’t have the physique) of the dancers and wrestlers I admire, but I’ve come to relish the post-gym exhaustion that is my reward after throwing myself through all this; the soreness and fatigue have become familiar and comforting, even grounding. In a world where so much of my labor is owned or otherwise claimed by others, this physical work belongs only to me. It’s something I do purely for myself, to enrich my experience of the world.”
"When I ran, that was my time to talk to God. I could feel the spirit. It was so freeing. I could pray. I could just talk to God like I was talking to you. If I needed to cry, I could cry. If I needed to scream, I could scream. I could do anything."
"I barre so hard because it feels so good. I love the variety, I love how good I feel afterwards, and I love the results. I’ve never once gone to a class and thought afterwards 'I wish I hadn’t gone today!'"
"Jogging has always made me feel good, strong and centred. It's my favourite cardiovascular workout and the perfect complement to my strengthening and stretching routines. The thing about running is that no matter how much I sometimes dread getting out the door, I always return feeling happy, invigorated and clearheaded."
"Exercise allows me to sweat out all the gunk within, to release the angst and turmoil, to tap into the joy inside me. Suddenly life is exciting again. I have goals and the energy to work towards them.
"I love working out. I don't go to therapy, and I think that's because I get endorphins from exercise. It's such a powerful tool for me mentally. I know that working out is not the path for me to be skinny. For my body type, that entails eating well and making healthy choices. Working out is a way for me to have mental strength, and now, with a kid, it's also time that I have just for myself and to focus on my body."