My fitness journey
I have always lived an active life.
Whether it was dancing or playing outside with the neighbors kids. I was always doing something.
My love for dance started when I was 4. I went to a ballet studio, they also offered jazz and lyrical classes, but their forte was strictly ballet. I had very intense Russian teachers, at the moment I didn’t realize how their actions towards their students shaped all of us to how we are today. I was taught strict discipline at such a young age. I know that this probably sounds insane, but I’m kinda thankful I had that structure growing up. It taught me to listen hard, pick up things quickly, and to respect my teachers.
On top of taking 10 plus hours a week of ballet, I started taking jazz classes. When I was 6 I started competitive dancing, competing at numerous competitions around Southern California and even traveling to Las Vegas. The bulk of my younger dancer years memories are from these competitions. Staying in hotels with all my friends, spending numerous hours in the pools after we were done competing. Going out to dinners with all the families and having to wake up at 4 am to be ready to compete at 8. I loved all of this, still to this day I love competing. I love the thrill of it, the sensation you get when you step into that convention center or dance hall. The adrenaline you get when you step on that stage.
I stayed at this studio until I was 12. I love ballet but either you’re amazing at it or you’re just not the best. And quite frankly, I was not at the top of the class. So, I went to a different studio that focused more on jazz and lyrical. I spent 3 years there competing and perfecting my technique.
When it was time for me to go to high school, I decided to try out for the song team. A couple of the older girls at my new studio were on it and they encouraged me to join, and I’m so glad that I did. I spent the four years of high school on the song team, cheering and competing, loving every moment of it. My senior year I was captain and I also decided to join the dance team as well. Senior year was very busy, but dance was my life during that time. I wasn’t really into the party scene, I was too socially awkward to talk to boys, so I put all my effort into dance. School wasn’t really my thing anyway, I’m more of a creative person and you can’t really be creative in algebra.
So in 2012, I graduated high school. I tried out for this amazing college dance team, and I didn’t make it. I honestly wasn’t the best dancer, I had the heart but I didn’t have the technique. Also during that time i was holding onto a lot of weight. I was eating like crap, not taking care of body, barely exercising. Even though I had been dancing so many hours, it definitely did not show. After I didn’t make that college dance team, I was kinda lost. I didn’t really know what to do, I felt like I was missing a puzzle piece to my life. When I was enrolling in college classes, I thought I would try a modern dance class. I liked it, but it was just something I was not used to. I liked how free I was able to feel, but there wasn’t any true structure to it, like how I had been used to my entire life. Second semester of college I enrolled in a jazz class this time, and now this was much more my speed. I loved my teacher, the music she chose and even her choreography was amazing. Fast forward to the end of the semester, I try out again for my college dance team, and again I don’t make it.
So with my friend at the time, we decided to try out for a different college dance team in a different city. And we made it! Those two years were some of the best times in my life. I got to travel to Northern California to cheer for the football team at the championship and even travel to Florida twice. My coach was amazing, she cared so much about our team, wanting the best out of everyone. She was one of my few coaches that saw something in me, pushed me to be the dancer that I am today. My second year in the team, my coach formed an all star team with a few of the girls on my college team plus girls she knew already. I was only on the all star team for a year, but during that time it pushed me so hard. Every girl on that team was so good and I knew that there would be no room for error in my dancing. Our team ended up winning at this huge nationals competition, and man I can’t even describe the high I received in that moment.
After those amazing two years, I had to quit the team. I was having car problems and I needed to use my money towards that, being in the team was just getting way too expensive. I also met my boyfriend during this time. I don’t want to say he turned me on to this fitness path, but he was definitely one of the reasons why it is something I’m so in love this to this day.
So once I stopped dancing I knew that i had to stay active. I joined a gym near me and started going a few times a week, not really knowing what I was doing. I was mostly taking group fitness and Zumba classes because my best friend during that time taught them. When I first started off at the gym, I was so nervous going. I wasn’t comfortable yet in my own skin, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I always thought people were watching me. I wasn’t comfortable yet to not wear makeup in public, so I always came with a full face of makeup on to workout in. It wasn’t until a full year of doing this that I started to feel comfortable. The one thing that always frustrated me was that I wasn’t seeing any results. I was expecting to see instant changes in my body, but obviously that is unrealistic. It probably didn’t help either that I was constantly eating fast food. After I worked out I would go get super greasy Chinese food, dell taco, Taco Bell, etc etc etc. I wasn’t fueling my body with the necessary things it needed since I was working out.
After a year and a half of going to this gym, the company opened up a brand new one right by my house, four times the size of the one I was going to. During this time, that best friend I had and I were starting to have a falling out, so I switched to this gym. I started to become more serious in my training, going 4-5 times a week and looking more into the things I ate. I would watch workout videos to get inspiration and one thing I still swear by is super sets. (You honestly need to start doing them, they have changed my whole fitness game) The gym started to become my escape, just how dance was when I was kid. Whenever things were going really bad in my house I had dance to get away from all of that, now I had the gym.
Fast forward to today, I’m spending 5-6 days a week training hard and seeing the results I’ve been wanting. I’m eating right, feeding my body the right macros it needs. Making my own food, and never thinking about going through a drive through....well I’m always thinking about and In n Out grilled cheese, but I have the will power now to say no. I’ve gone pescatarian, cutting out all meat besides fish. On a typical day to day basis I actually eat vegan. The items I meal prep for myself are vegan, but I don’t want to call myself a vegan just because I will eat fish. I don’t consume dairy, unless I splurge and get frozen yogurt and have things with cheese in it. I imagine myself though going vegan at some point in my life. I don’t want to preach to you about how you should stop eating meat, but I have seen some amazing changes in my body because of it. For one thing, my skin. I have never seen my skin glow this much and my skin is always clear now, besides the typical hormonal pimple I’ll get. My endurance and energy levels are high, and to beat all those stereotypes, I’m still lifting the same amount as I did if I was eating meat, if not more. I’m listening to what my body needs now, and I am so much happier because of it.
My workout split:
Monday>> leg day
Wednesday>> chest and triceps
Thursday>> back and biceps
Friday>> legs again
Saturday>> arms and anything else I want to work out, I’ll usually do shoulders again because I want those boulders
Sunday>> rest day
Just like any workout split out there in the internet, you don’t have to follow it. You need to listen to your body, and find out what works best for you.
The things I tell you about fitness I can’t stress enough, to use them as guidelines because every human vessel is different. Follow the workouts, but tweak them to what your body needs.
The key to everything is to listen to your body. Find out what it needs, and do it. It took me a long time to figure this out, but I’m so glad I did. Now my body loves me and I am finally getting to where I want to be.
Live along active and healthy life, your body will thank you so much.
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato