My Fitness Journey ft. Kevin Kreider
Fitness is a journey. It's something we choose to embark on. Nobody hops on this bandwagon by force - we all have a reason - and just like you, I started somewhere. But surprise, surprise, this journey has been dreadful... until last year.
WHAT SPURRED ME TO GET INTO FITNESS?
My mum said I was getting fat. No kidding. My mother was the first person in my family to embark on a fitness journey. She became a Pilates instructor in 2008, and has since been known as the fittest member of my family. So, when she says 'you're getting fat', you're getting fat. And in this case, tough love worked.
DID I BUILD A PASSION OVERNIGHT, OR DID IT GROW ON ME?
It grew on me. Prior to 2013, I loathed working out - I never thought it was fun and hated the thought of expending any energy. Then, I entered the workforce and my once somewhat-active lifestyle became sedentary. Naturally, this sparked physical expansion and I knew I had to do something.
So, I started with - my mum's suggestion - Nicky Holender's Stronger. But even then, I spent 3 years doing workout programs I didn't enjoy. I religiously clocked an hour after work, but disliked every single session... until I started weight-training last year. When I found what I loved about fitness - in my case, lifting weights and seeing results from it - my passion grew. It wasn't something I had at the start, but it's something I have now.
HAS A STEREOTYPE HELD ME BACK BEFORE - HOW DID I OVERCOME IT?
A stereotype has held me back. But fortunately, not for long.
In Asia, it is uncommon for women to weight-train. You don't see it in the media, and the activity of bodybuilding is still only for men. So, the first time I entered the free weights section, I felt out of place. There were no other women around - mirroring a boy's only tree house. Wanting to train, but not wanting to stick out, I coaxed my brother to usher me in. Thankfully for him, I soon realised it was silly to always have him around.
I knew my intimidation stemmed from being the only female. But, I wasn't there to play - I had a purpose. And when I focused on my purpose, I had nothing to be intimidated about. I learned to stop caring about what others thought - setting my sights on my goal and not those around me. Whatever people had to say, I was going to live for me.
Today, I stroll into the free weights section unbound by public perception. And I don't vacate... until I've achieved my goal.
Hear what Kevin Kreider has to say about his fitness journey below. Unlike me, a female living in Asia, Kevin is an Asian living in the USA. His perspective, from the other side of the world, is worth listening to.
If you're just getting started in fitness, I encourage you to keep going. If you're struggling to continue, try different forms of exercise to find the one you like - slowly but surely, you'll discover your passion. And if ever, you feel like a stereotype is holding you back, reevaluate why you're doing what you're doing. Fitness is a journey that spans a lifetime. So don't disembark before your arrival! You're only missing out on the destination - one you've always dreamt about.