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Challenging one’s mindset: The joy of movement

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved being busy, doing things, exploring things, learning new things especially when it came to being outdoors. I was that type of kid who loved nothing more than climbing up and down on trees, riding my bike and heading out and about.

Over the years I lost that enthusiasm for physical activity. I’m not sure whether it was because I felt low about myself and that’s why I stopped or whether stopping the activities is what made me feel low. I suppose it doesn’t really matter, because that’s the past and I can’t change it. Thankfully, as tiring as 2017 was, it did allow me to rekindle my love for physical activity.

For a long time I thought being overly active was a bad thing

I never understood the whole sitting on the couch watching TV for hours on end, however for some silly reason I felt like that’s what you were meant to do as a functioning adult, so I tried. I’m horrified to think back now about the number of hours wasted watching TV with my ex when we should have been doing other things;.

I’d be a liar to say that I didn’t enjoy it all the time. There were definitely enjoyable moments watching a binge-worthy TV show together. In particular the TV show, Banshee springs to mind. The problem was that I was very rarely engaged in just sitting and watching the TV show. I would often be on the laptop, the mobile or doing something else at the same time the TV show or movie was on.

This cycle of trying hard to be still, made me feel that I was inadequate and definitely not a normal functioning human being. I didn’t understand why others could be engrossed in a TV show or movie, and I had to be busy.

I’ve come to realise with much discussion with others that being active and being busy is more than fine, as long as you don’t overdo it, which is something I’m working on!

Despite losing some zest for life, I’ve always loved basketball

As a kid and till this day my favourite sport is basketball. As a highly competitive individual, I love the challenge of working within a team to achieve team based goals. It is a totally different mindset to activities that are of a solo nature, which is what I’m naturally drawn to.

The hardest thing about my cycling accident last year was the fact I wasn’t able to play basketball. It is something I really miss. It was really hard, because I felt like I was missing out on a important part of my life.  As someone who loves pushing boundaries, being told I wasn’t able to play play broke my heart and made me very angry towards the world.

The joy that came from rediscovering my active spirit

In 2017, when I was making drastic changes to my life. I realised I needed something to occupy my time and would take me out of how I was feeling if only for a short period of time. A friend of mine mentioned that I would have no problem running and despite the fact I didn’t believe them, my competitive side came into play and I gave it a go.

I still remember that first run. It was hot, it was short (2km) and while I was running, I felt ridiculous.  Even when I was most active I wasn’t a runner.

But something weird happened after that first run

There was an ever such slight positive shift in how I saw myself and how I saw the world and from that first run I was hooked. I wasn’t very good initially and that drove me to want to try harder and harder.

The problem of going too hard too soon, is that you end up injured and I had to learn to scale back activities until I had the strength and fitness to match my determination.

When I was hit by the car in October 2017, I discovered something really good

Her name is Elisse. She is an Exercise Physiologist, Myotherapist and the Managing Director of Gators Personal Training and Myotheraphy in Hawthorn, Victoria.

I went to see Elisse mid-November, so about three weeks after my accident. I had broken ribs, a bruised knee cap and a wrist that suffered from a dislocation and two breaks. I was convinced I would never get back to the same level of fitness prior to the accident.

I remember meeting Elisse and being blown away by her enthusiasm and skills. Based on the amount of time she spent during my first consult, I knew she loved what she did and I thought I’d give Elisse a go based on that.

I did not believe that I would get anywhere

But I was wrong. Elisse has helped me so much. She has stood by me during those sessions when nothing seemed to work and celebrated my wins when the body moved like it should. I know for a fact that if it wasn’t for Elisse’s training I would not be running and achieving PBs. I would not be smiling and feeling good about myself. I would not be running regularly like I am. I’m the strongest, fittest and fastest I’ve ever been, thanks to Elisse.

As bad as my accident was, it was 100% worth it in order to discover Elisse. I’ll be forever grateful to Elisse and The Gators team for helping me on my journey.

I’m now contemplating the things I want to do next when it comes to my fitness goals. I’ve just started incorporating swimming into my regime and I’m aiming to be able to run 15km in time for Run for the Kids in March 2019. For the first time in a long time I’m excited for what the future may hold.

If I can do this, you can too, all it takes is just one step to make the world your oyster.

Ps. Don’t short change yourself on a good pair of shoes. I highly recommend Active Feet, because of them I discovered my love of Mizuno. They are the best pair of runners I’ve ever had.

Julia

The girl with the iron will

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