Updated: May 4, 2021
Who would have ever believed that, one day, I would be doing an obstacle race ??? If five years ago, you would have told me I would be doing this type of race, I would have laughed in your face and called you crazy. No, seriously… me ? The girl who hates exercising more than anything, and whose physical education teacher at school would call her mother every year to warn her that I would have to run a predetermined distance or otherwise I would not be able to pass the class. Let me tell you that when I did MUDGIRL in 2017, with my 2 friends, I was really not sure that I was even capable of doing this kind of race. I let myself be talked into it, telling myself that I had never tried it, so I had no way of knowing whether this was true. It was as if this type of event was dedicated to everyone but me, to others, to athletes, to people who were really in shape.
My whole life I have hated exercising. It meant moving, sweating, making an effort, being out of breath, being reminded of how out of shape I was, being sore everywhere to the point that just breathing or bending was a problem.
Between lying on the sofa and doing cardio, the choice was really easy…. I am pretty sure I have set records for time spent watching TV from the comfort of my sofa.
Later on in my life, I hurt my back (3 herniated discs) and it got to the point that the physios sentenced me to the sofa, with strict orders not to engage in certain actions such as jumping, running, bending forward 90 degrees….
Basically, as I understood it, I could not do any exercise and the sofa remained my best option in order to heal and live a so-called « normal » life. No physical activity translated to gaining weight. I was always overweight, but I was at my worst when I was on sick leave because of my back problems.
Once I returned to work (after one and a half years of doing nothing), I got lucky and met some new colleagues who afterwards became very close friends of mine. These strong, extraordinary women took such great care of themselves : they trained, ran marathons, did obstacle courses, did competitions, ate well, all the while drinking a lot of water, working on themselves to feel and look their best ; they did hikes on mountains, loved themselves, etc… It was worlds apart from the sofa and TV.
My friends started telling me that just because I was hurt, it didn’t mean that I had to stop moving and exercising. That nowadays, anyone can do the physical activity of their choice despite their physical restrictions, you just need the right equipment and/or to be able to adapt the activity so that you can do it. So, why not ? Why not me… ?
So, because of this, little by little, I started to move, locking myself away at home so that no one could see me. I was lucky because I had friends that coached me and showed me how to adapt the movements to my restrictions, and who helped me create personal training programs that I could do at home.
At a certain point, I was talked into leaving my house in order to exercise with my friends. Doing this, it became easier for us to see each other despite our crazy schedules. On top of that, we were killing two birds with one stone, since we wanted to work out but also wanted to have a good time with friends (two important things that we wanted to do during our day).
Training more regularly also motivated me to take better care of my diet. Hanging out with people who took care of themselves meant that we ate more home-cooked meals, meals where we could control the ingredients that went into them.
This also led me to seek help from a nutritionist in order to improve my eating habits, to learn to love eating healthier foods, and to learn to eat when I really « needed » to instead of eating to fill something inside of me. It felt as if I was paying for private lessons to invest in myself. Just like others pay for German or Mandarin lessons, I paid for a training coach and a nutritionist. A real turning point in my life, a need to change for the better, to be able to live a better life.