I’m continuing to layout the story of my life, as it pertains to fitness, body issues and happiness. It’s really helping me process what went on. You guys out there are actually reading this, which is awesome! If you know me, I hope you get a kick out of all the old photos.
In my early 20’s, I had graduated college, gotten fit, acquired and left my first big job, and then, shortly after Y2K (remember that whole mess?) moved with my good friend to my state’s largest city to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional floozy. No, not really. We moved to the Big City because we wanted more than what our Small City had to offer.
Looking back on this time, I was actually doing pretty okay. I got a membership at a local gym and had a couple of gym buddies. We’d hold each other accountable. As for training, I was pretty much going on my own. The free personal training they offered was a JOKE, but I knew enough to be dangerous by this point. Working out was a big part of my social life. I made casual friends there, spent time talking out the day’s problems with my girlfriends on the elliptical. I even dated a guy who went to the same gym, we’d have dates there, trying to beat each other on the treadmill. The evening on September 11 when the world was going to hell? I was on the cardio deck, watching the closed captioned news.
My love of Step Aerobics was hit hard though when I took classes there. I could keep up with classes at the other gyms I had been to, multiple instructors, but at this place, the choreography was too much. I ended up finding a new group fitness passion. Yoga! I took a class at a school that tended toward the Hatha/Iyengar style and it fit me perfectly. When I practiced yoga I felt amazing. I was happier, more peaceful, and I called a truce with the war on my body without realizing it. Plus, one day I went to shave my legs in the shower and felt my calves. OMG. Ripped! Yoga taught me how to breathe my way out of anxiety, which came in handy for my 45 min commute on a neglected stretch of highway in a snow storm.
Professionally, I went from SUPER temp, to landing pretty much my dream job as a scientist, to being a graduate student. I had a great group of friends. A core part of my college group was in the Big City with me, I could count on many others to pass through a couple times a year to catch up, and I made a lot of new friends. We walked the 3 and a half mile loop near where I lived, hiked, and we DANCED. I was out dancing nearly every weekend. Drinking was usually included, but everything was more controlled than it had been. One of my favorite memories was getting ready at my place with my pack of girlfriends, parking the car in the garage across from the bar district, taking off our coats and mittens, running as fast as possible into the bars wearing little thin shirts, and boots with insane heels.
My diet was fairly decent. When we started out, my roommate and I were the original 2 Broke Girls. We’d frequent restaurants with “college night” specials, even if when we were out of school. Good thing our IDs didn’t expire. We cooked a lot at home. I don’t think I ever drank soda, and if I ate dessert, it was usually an insanely special occasion. We just couldn’t afford it. I got used to cooking for 1 more often, and I learned to like eating lots of fish. I frequented the public market for produce and even if I wasn’t “by the book” I was still more or less on “The Zone.” I even stopped drinking entirely from Jan 1 2000-May 5 2000. Cinco de Mayo broke my will.
As for my mood? There were ups and downs. The breakup from my treadmill opponent boyfriend hit me pretty hard, but I threw myself in to my social life to make up for it, and started seeing a professional to work through it the right way.
Looking back, maybe I wasn’t in as ass kicking shape as I was after college, but I was in a smaller size. Fitness and friends were the biggest part of my life. I was professionally happy and didn’t really care about adding anything else to the equation. And do you know what happened then?
I met my future husband.
(This isn’t the end by a long-shot. I have a lot more to say!)