Sometimes the world works in funny ways. Back in the winter, the bootcamp I had been going to for the past eight years decided that they would no longer offer outdoor classes...it had been a few years coming as they had always talked about cancelling due to low turnout in the winter months, but continued to hang on until this year when they finally pulled the plug. Now the group of ladies that I work out with are at once, awesome and amazing...we've been training together for about three years and I have to say I love these ladies. Love. We were all pretty upset that they were going to break us up because it's pretty hard to find a group of women who support each through thick and thin and that we're all on the same wavelength when it comes to our health. We're all fairly different as far as personalities go but each have our place in the group and have nicknamed ourselves the #hardcore girls. Now how did we get this name? Well one morning in the dead of winter when it was sideways raining and our trainer didn't show up, we were all huddled underneath the eaves next to the stinky washroom at Esquimalt Lagoon doing wall sits when one of the girls said "wow, this is really hardcore!" and the name stuck. So anyways, faced with the possibility of having to break up, we immediately pulled together and found a new trainer.
Sadly, that didn't work out on a few fronts so we had to pound the pavement again, and managed to hook up with our current trainers who we absolutely adore. The main trainer is awesome...she just started her own company and we all love her and the other trainer that works with us. Classes are very tough with a good variety and the personalities have just meshed so we're all incredibly happy...I guess sometimes things just really work out for the best! The #hardcore girls have really cemented as a group and we've transcended from being just some rando ladies that work out together to really being a close knit group of friends.
One morning after a particularly kickass session, we were doing some stretching when the conversation turned to how we've all encountered people who criticize our love of physical pursuits and call us obsessed. We commiserated with each other as we've all encountered the negative Nellie comments from many people around us (and disappointingly, we discovered that most comments came from the very people who you would think would or should be a source of support), and some of the girls piped up with why they loved to work out...one commented that she loved feeling strong, that one day she opened a jar that her boyfriend couldn't open and that made her feel amazing. Another girl said that she loved the feeling of confidence that came from being fit. The head trainer said that she loved having muscles and muscles she definitely has...incredibly strong with an ass that could crack walnuts (this girl can farmer carry two of those massive water jugs, no problem), she just qualified for the Canadian national team for kettlebells. As I listened to the comments around me, I started to think...why do I love fitness so much? What is it that compels me to love working out? What the?!
Well let's be honest...when I first started out, it was all about looking good. I wanted to be skinny, I wanted to fit into certain types of clothes...it was all about the esthetics than being healthy. Then somewhere along the way, things changed. Now let's be clear...working out is hard work. Really, really hard work. I would definitely say that all my life, I wasn't a confident person. Always worried about what people thought of me, worried that I was never good enough, and having relationships with people who weren't good for me really took its toll. But when I started to work out, something changed for me. When we try hard things and go on to achieve those hard things, it makes us believe in ourselves in a way that we didn't before. When we do hard things, it gives us confidence and a sense of self reliance that maybe didn't exist before. When you're at the 35km mark in a marathon, ain't no one going to come save you and get you through those last kilometres except yourself. When you're at the bottom of an effing heavy squat and your legs feel like they're going to give out, it's only you that is going to get you up and out of that squat without bailing on your ass. Maybe it's doing a perfect push up from your toes or walking once around the block without stopping...it's whatever "hard" means for you. Since I started running and lifting, I've changed profoundly as a person. Sure, I like being healthy and fit and physically I've changed immensely...I can run fast, lift heavy shit and have the quadzilla thighs and guns to prove it. But it's way, way more than that...it's the mental side of being physical that is life changing and the part that I'm "obsessed" with, as the haters like to say. I feel strong and I feel empowered, and all the physical stuff is just the icing on the cake. I really like who I am and for the first time in my life I can say that and mean it.
#hardcore girls, for the win.