June 1st, 2016 is the day my life would forever be changed. I’ll never forget showing up to Flywheel and feeling so out of place. Everyone there was perky and had the ideal physique bodies. In my mind I kept thinking “I don’t belong here. This is embarrassing. Abort mission!!!” However, when we got into the studio, you could immediately feel the energy shift from fear to excitement. Our instructor, Joyce McNally, came right up to Nikki and me to introduce herself and get us set up on the bike to make sure we were comfortable.
I could tell right away that this woman loved what she does and that this was going to be something special. And it was. The lights went down and the music went up. It was the perfect atmosphere to focus on you and only you. To feed off the energy that was in that studio. To close your eyes when you needed to just let go and get lost for a bit. The endorphins hit me for the first time in a LONG time. I was immediately hooked! I was completely terrible, but hooked nonetheless.
I ended up buying a monthly membership at Flywheel so I could go an unlimited time each month. At first I was only going 1-2 classes a week. However, once I started seeing and feeling results, I became addicted. So I started going at least 4 times a week. It started to become my passion. The community there started to become family. We would all push and inspire each other. Not only does Flywheel offer spin, but they also have a Barre room that I was scared to death of. But with persistent pushing and encouragement from friends and instructors, I took my first step in that room on March 1st, 2017. And that made all the difference my last year at Fly. For 2 solid years, Flywheel was a catalyst to something I never thought could happen.
I never believed I would be in love with taking care of myself again. Before Flywheel, I was in a dark place. I didn’t even realize how bad of a place I was in until I started shedding off the weight. With each workout, and each pound lost, I was slowly finding my smile. My heart was starting to wake back up. My soul was starting to burn again.
All I kept thinking after walking out of that studio was “I never want to lose this feeling. Everyone should feel like this at some point. In some way.” 2 years at Flywheel taught me what living vs existing meant. And I know now that I’m LIVING my best life because I have found myself.
When I realized I wanted to move back to Birmingham, I had to start mentally preparing for not seeing the studio on a regular basis. I struggled with that a bit. Actually, that was the hardest mental struggle I dealt with. I wasn’t sure I was disciplined enough to hold myself accountable the way my #Flyfam did. I had hit a wall as far as weight loss, so I thought it would be a good idea to start weaning myself off of the bike and getting into a gym to switch up my routine.
Another good friend of mine took me to Planet Fitness one day and showed me a dozen exercises or so. She knew what I wanted to work on the most, so she made sure I had some things in my arsenal to start. It felt good to actually lift heavier weights and start working with muscle groups differently. Again, once I started seeing results, I was hooked.
Once I started getting on a routine of going to work out by myself, along with catching a spin class 1-2 times a week, I realized a switch had flipped inside me. I realized that I would be ok to move back home. That working out had become a lifestyle. I recognized that on some of my bad days, I craved working out. That my time in the gym is the most quality “me time” I can get. It is where I go to shut everything else out and commit an hour and a half to myself. Because I’m worth it. I love myself too much to go back to that dark place. I will forever remember that dark place. Because it is a very real place. But I’m strong enough to keep it at a distance.
Now that I’m back, I have kept up with going to Planet Fitness 3-5 times a week. I’m always researching different workouts to fit into my goals. Goals are so important to have. When I started Flywheel, I never had a weight loss number in mind. But, once I got on the scale and started to see that number go down, I made goals each month. Small goals like 5-6 pounds a month (I had it to lose). I still have goals, but the weight number isn’t as important anymore.
Now it’s all about how I feel. I also believe in rewarding yourself when you achieve a goal. My biggest goal crusher was breaking the 200 barrier and getting into “one-derland” for the first time in 15 years! And when I did that, I rewarded myself by doing something that scared me to death…I went zip lining. It was the most liberating experience. My next goal for 2018 is to be able to a 5k without walking. FYI – I LOATHE running.
I hope my story has reached someone that has been playing with the idea of becoming active. If it’s to lose weight or simply just to get out there more and enjoy life. Do not let your mind set you back. Mine did for far too long. And some days I have to remind myself how far I’ve come to refocus. Get out there and take the first step. That’s the hardest part. But once you take that step, all you’ll have to do is put one foot in front of the other to keep going. I never would have guessed spin was the key for me. You never know what’s out there that could reignite your spark! Go feed your soul! You’re worth it!
Living the good life is something we embrace daily but it’s also an aspect of our life that is long term. I’d love to hear how you find happiness outside of your workspace. Feel free to share on our Facebook page!