The Long Road Back

Movement has always been a big part of my life.

One of my first early childhood memories is watching Gene Kelly doing “Singin’ In The Rain” and knowing that I had to dance. I was utterly mesmerized. So I pestered my parents for dance lessons, and began dancing at the age of six. My days were filled with discipline, training, sore muscles, obsessing about diet, and performing. This was my world for fourteen more years, and it was home. When my dancing days were over, I had a deep void in my life. I missed the structure of that world, I missed my friends from that world, and I really missed the physical training. When you have been immersed in your passion for several hours a day and it is suddenly gone, how do you replace it?

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Well, I joined a local gym, funny as that may sound. I loved taking aerobics classes, as they kind of reminded me of dancing. I loved these classes so much that many of my instructors encouraged me to teach. As most of them were former dancers too, we had a natural camaraderie. I loved teaching – it almost gave me the same emotional high that dance did. But aerobics was all I really wanted to do –  I never entered the weight room. I thought weights were boring, and I didn’t see much point to them, but I knew they were supposed to be “good for me”. After university, I scraped together a few dollars to work with a “personal trainer”, which was very new (and totally unregulated) back then. I discovered that I actually enjoyed strength training, was pretty good at it, and it really changed my body shape. Even when I headed off into the corporate world, I still made time for daily exercise. It was a priority for me.

Probably due to my early years dancing, I have always loved intense training. I have had eight personal trainers since that first one in the ’90’s, and all of them were great. One got me into running. One helped me drastically improve my strength. Another helped me look the hottest I have ever looked. Another got me into boxing, which I still love. And my most recent trainer specializes in athletic training. I have so enjoyed working with all of these men (yes, all of my trainers were men) and I have learned so much from all of them. I thought that my discipline and love of fitness were so well-ingrained that I would never get out of shape.

Well guess what.

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Now this didn’t happen overnight. Several years ago, during a time of personal transition, I decided to go back to the fitness industry full-time. I ramped up my own training, and looked and felt the best I ever had. I wanted to share this with other people. So I got my certification and worked as a personal trainer for a gym in a lovely West Toronto neighbourhood. Two years later I opened my own studio, which you see in the pictures here.

The pressures of running my own studio and several other life issues wore me down over time. I was burnt out physically and emotionally. I had no energy – and honestly no desire – to train.

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For the first time, I actually understood what many of my clients were going through – feeling too stressed, overwhelmed, busy and exhausted to even think about working out. When I finally made the tough decision to close the studio and move on, I thought my own love of training would bounce right back.

It didn’t.

There were many reasons why, and I talked about some of them here. But to summarize it has taken me three years to come back to a place where I want to train again.

So I’m starting over.

This is me – just before I opened the studio, four years ago.

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And this is me now, under the watchful eye of Jeff, my hard-working trainer.

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Yes, quite a difference.

Jeff and I have spent the last year working on some nagging injuries, getting my mobility, strength, and energy back, and now I’m ready to roll.

This is a process, and results don’t happen as fast as you would like, especially once you are over forty. But at least I am in a place where I want to do this again. It’s been part of my life for so long, that honestly my life has felt very strange without it.

Will I get back to that place I was four years ago? Where I looked great, felt great, and had energy to burn? I don’t know. I am going to give it all of my effort.

But most importantly, it feels good to be on the road back.

  • Allison Eddyblouin

    Very honest, wonderful, and supportive post!!! Thank you for sharing your determination!! I’ll stop eating peanut butter by the spoonful now…..:)

    • I have always loved peanut butter by the spoonful 🙂
      Allison, sorry it took me so long to respond to this….for some reason I didn’t get the Disqus notification, and just saw it today! Really appreciate your thoughts on the post. I’ll be doing a follow-up soon.