In February 2012, my life changed forever.
I woke up with an awful pain in my neck. A shooting pain that spread down my back and didn’t go away for what seemed like weeks. It kept me from wanting to get out of bed. It kept me from focusing at work. It kept me from being the happy human being I was before.
Every day before the pain came along, I would run. Run down the street, run on the treadmill, run to the closest pizza shop on weekend nights before it would close. But this pain had gotten in between me and running – eventually getting to the point where I realized it was over between us, forever.
For months, I clung to the hope that we would get back together. That I would run again. I refused to move on. I refused to try anything new. I just moped around, reminiscing about the good old days of running on my beloved treadmill at the gym. Until one day, a friend finally convinced me to put myself out there.
I was sick of being miserable. It was clear I deserved better. My friend suggested a few different exercises I could do, and at first, I was hesitant. Not only were these exercises not exactly my type, but I didn’t have experience with them. It seemed silly for me to go after something I never thought I would ever want.
But she convinced me to give at least one of them a chance. So I did. I signed up for a barre class.
It was not love at first sight. It was not even love at third sight. I would go to class, somehow survive 55 minutes of not knowing what I was doing, and dread going back again. But there was something about it. Something that kept me going back for more.
While sometimes the class made me angry, it challenged me, and I loved the person I was when I was around it. They say the one will make you a better person, and I felt like barre really brought out my best self.
After a few years of being around barre a few times a week, we fell into a slump. It wasn’t that I was falling out of love with barre. I still loved my workout. But for some reason, I started comparing it to my first love, running. I missed the cardio I got from running. The thrill. The sweatiness. I even missed how much I fucking hated running, and the love I somehow had for it after doing it. You know – the passion.
Barre and I had been together for so long. I started to think: Is the spark going away? What else is out there? What if there’s something else for me?
I had heard people talk about Soul Cycle, and what I heard excited me. The class seemed like the opposite of barre. Loud, dark, fast-paced. It sounded like the bad boy of fitness classes. For so long, I had been with the same, nice guy. I was so used to it. I was bored. The bad boy sounded more appealing than ever before. I needed to try it. At least once. So I did.
I loved Soul Cycle. Could I see myself falling in love with it? No, probably not. I mean, maybe, yes. But I knew that wouldn’t be feasible. Not with all the costs associated with it. Like, they wouldn’t even pay for my shoes. I need something that is at least willing to pay for my shoes.
If I had to choose, it would always be barre, hands down. I just needed to experience something new to realize that – and to get my brain to stop thinking about my former first flame.
After losing my first love of running, I was so afraid to change my ways, but luckily I realized that my ways had already changed on their own. My life had a mind of its own and an agenda of its own. I just needed to get on board with the direction my life was going in.
Commitment is hard. Luckily, though, you don’t have to commit when it comes to working out. You can keep trying new things, loving new things, and loving old things, all at the same time. There’s no love quite like fitness love. If only all love could be like this.