Restarting My Fitness Journey
There are plenty of reasons why people stop working out:
- Sudden life changes
- Big events
- Time restraints
- A global pandemic
How do we then reintroduce fitness to our lives when it seems almost impossible? Exercise is an essential part of our wellbeing, but oftentimes falling out of routine and halting the implementation of fitness into our daily routines – for whatever reason – can mean it becomes extremely challenging to restart your fitness journey. I’m one of the many people who believed that my injuries and limitations because of the years of stress I put on my body meant I would never be able to consistently work out again…
A little background: I started playing soccer when I was six years old, in England it’s sort of in your blood. Both my parents were Physical Education teachers when I was growing up so sport was always a part of my life. I picked up team sports extremely quickly and ended up representing my High School in pretty much every sport it offered: I played tennis, rugby, field hockey, badminton, netball, rounders (those last two are real sports I promise, check out the links). I moved to the US alone with one massive suitcase and dreams of playing pro soccer. I played my freshman year at UCONN and then transferred to LIU Brooklyn to finish out my degree, my collegiate career and, in the end, my soccer career in general.
I was plagued with seemingly small injuries, my MCL tear at 16 and a rib fracture my junior year were my only two ‘major’ injuries, I played through everything else because that was just what we did. I had teammates that tore their ACL multiple times, hip labral tears, meniscectomies, the list goes on. Lack of long term vision and the desire to close out my senior season meant I played on a left knee that barely worked and a chronic quad strain that became an irreparable tear.
Long story short, after college I essentially stopped working out in any capacity. I genuinely thought I wasn’t going to be able to work out without pain ever again, I had chronic knee pain that flared up whenever I did anything remotely active. I couldn’t run faster than a jog without pain in my quad. I felt lost and hopeless. I went from 2-5 hours of physical activity a day to absolutely nothing, talk about whiplash.
Times have changed a little since I graduated, injury prevention and strength and conditioning in competitive collegiate/and all environments have come leaps and bounds especially in soccer. But it was too late for me to reap the benefits. I thought I’d be calling myself a retired athlete for the rest of my life – and I did for years. Quite by chance I discovered HELIYO, pre COVID-19 and 5 years into my ‘retirement’ from pretty much anything to do with fitness. In my initial assessment I was pretty dubious, I had a great Athletic Training team in college and access one of NYU’s finest Doctors – if they couldn’t help no one could right?
Wrong. Not only did I understand my body more after just one session, I was enrolled in a specific knee program delivered ever so conveniently through the HELIYO App for my knee pain. I was given the knowledge and the tools to actually progress, something I hadn’t done in years. My program advanced with me, I had video and written cues to make sure what I was doing was actually correct. But the key here is that I actually understood why I was doing everything that was programmed for me. It was like I was let into a big secret, except it isn’t, HELIYO performance and movement experts share their knowledge freely and willingly. I had never followed a program (Rehab, PT, you name it) were I fully understood WHY and HOW I was doing what I was doing. It was truly life changing, so of course I did the only thing that made sense: I joined the HELIYO team.
I started doing Functional Fitness classes late last year. I’m working out again. Not only am I working out again, I’m moving better and with more purpose than I ever did in college and I’m learning brand new things. You never stop being an athlete, that competitive drive in me to better myself and be the best I can be didn’t go away – it was just pushed down by chronic pain, self-doubt, and lack of knowledge. Maybe you’re not a competitor, but fitness isn’t just about competition. Fitness is personal, and it means different things to everyone. I speak from experience when I say there’s nothing stopping you from restarting, or even starting your fitness journey. There’s always time if you make it and there’s always modifications you can make if you’re unable to do certain activities. Don’t let anything take movement away from you, it truly is integral to your health and happiness.
HELIYO’s health, fitness, and wellbeing blog content is written for educational and entertainment purposes only and is intended for general consumer understanding, not for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should always consult a healthcare professional before making changes in your dietary or fitness routines. Do not rely on the information on this website for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Use the information provided on HELIYO’s website solely at your own risk, it is not intended to replace medical or healthcare advice. It is possible that advice on this blog may not contain the most recent findings or developments due to the ever changing nature of the fitness industry so we cannot guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of all content on the website.