From lump to limber in 12 months flat

Last year I was a lump, and I didn’t know what to do about it.

I hadn’t always been that way. I used to travel everywhere by foot, nearly every day. My round-trip walk to work was six miles, plus on-foot journeys to see friends and buy groceries. I always had energy, and I assumed I was in good shape.

After a move from the city to the ‘burbs, I suddenly felt like an unhappy lump. I had to drive to get anywhere. Sure, I had mowing the lawn and unpacking slowly dwindling boxes of books around the house — but nothing like the exercise of my constant walking.

My new round-trip walk to work? Fifteen miles. Not a daily endeavor.

When I mentioned my new-found lumpiness to friends, no one took me seriously. I’m not visibly out-of-shape. “You’re so tiny,” they replied. (Or, less kindly, “Shove it, tiny.”) But I felt my energy level dwindling and my jeans getting tighter.

I needed a fitness intervention. A “fitervention,” if you will. The problem was that I have never enjoyed exercising just for the sake of it. Walking actually got me somewhere. I hate weights and find treadmills tedious, so I didn’t think the gym was for me.

I asked my fittest friends for their favorite home workouts. Some of them were both painful and a pain, and I wasn’t in good enough shape for intense cross-training. I kept coming back to one: yoga. I felt silly doing it alone in my living room, but I enjoyed how I got slightly stronger and more limber each time I practiced.

After a few months of bragging about my video yoga habit, my coworkers convinced me to attend an actual yoga class. Yes, in a gym. I hid at the back of my first session, terrified I wouldn’t be able to strike a single pose correctly …

… and I loved it!

I’ve been practicing yoga at least weekly ever since. As my confidence and flexibility increased, I tried many other exercises. Yes, even the dreaded weights and jogging, but also Spinning, Pilates, Zumba, and Boot Camp.

Now I feel like an anti-lump: I’m a gym-goer and fitness enthusiast. I find time to walk the talk every day, even if I don’t have time to do any walking.

I am not saying you must discover the power of yoga or that hitting the gym twice a week will solve all of your problems! My point is that fitness can be found in many different places, including one that’s right for you. It can be its own purpose, destination, and fun. You just have to find your fit.

Have you found fitness in a surprising place? Or, are you still battling your own lump-y tendencies?