It is no secret that a healthy relationship with one’s body is a key aspect of a successful fitness journey. With the sudden pressure to become fit during a pandemic, there is nothing wrong with attempting to reach such goals in your increased free time, but know that it is also ok not to have perfect progress.
In the past year when I picked up a new hobby of doing home workouts from a multitude of influencers, it made me healthier and happier overall. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. What’s important to remember though, is that like myself, millions of people have gone through emotions like being disheartened or upset with their bodies at first. So if you’re looking to embark on a fitness journey, welcome to the rollercoaster that you are very likely to experience. But with enough self-love, patience and the occasional comfort dessert, you will get past it very quickly! Here are the 6 stages of your first Youtube workout:
Stage 1 - The Overdose of Motivation
This stage is the 5 minutes before actually hitting play. You’ve done the research, you’ve picked out the perfect workout and your playlist is ready to go. In this moment everyone feels like an overconfident boxer walking into the ring, prepared for victory and applause with no chance of failure…..before Chloe Ting virtually punches the air out of your lungs, but we’ll get to that later.
Stage 2 - Any Last Words?
I named this stage after a murder movie cliché because it definitely feels like the last few minutes before your death. You’ve hit play and you’re feeling the euphoric adrenaline of an Olympic champion when no one can stop you from being the best in the world. If there were three sets in a 10-minute video, I would best describe this phase as the first half of the first set and nothing beyond.
STAGE 3 - THE PLOT TWIST
Ok, you just may or may not be screwed. At four minutes in you look up to see how much is left and your jaw drops to the floor. Chloe’s iconic “engage your core” is assaulting your eardrums as your arms turn to jelly from the plank position. Forget about your body not cooperating, even the workout mat has decided to slip all the way to Alaska and dragging it back becomes a task of its own. The only ounce of motivation you have left is catching a deadly sight of your belly mid-crunch. The power of that glimpse to push you into double speed is something I marvel at to this day.
Interruption #1: Parental Concern
One of your parents comes rushing upstairs to investigate that horrible pounding noise, only to realize it’s just you and your strange new love for jumping jacks. They discover you gulping down your entire water bottle in your 15-second break while throwing up a peace sign indicating everything’s fine. They sigh and shut the door.
Stage 4 - Cursing Chloe Ting
Here you start to feel like the sweetest, most lovable influencer ever is actually out to kill you. Your increasing exhaustion has you throwing all types of expletives at your laptop. You start questioning Chloe’s audacity to call impossible exercises “easier.” Even when she tries to encourage you with “you can take a longer break here if you need to,” you give her a death stare as you mutter “don’t be calling me weak.”
Stage 5 - Self-Assigned Breaks
“Ok she’s crazy but she’s right...I can take a longer break” you say right before slamming the space bar and flopping down to the mat with your only emotional support — the beloved water bottle. Maybe you’re not meant to be an olympian just yet.
Interruption #2: Ads
Don’t be shy, just admit it. The only time you let Grammarly ads play for their full duration is when they show up mid-workout. I mean, why hit the skip button when you literally have the option to flop down on the mat and blame the advertisers?
Stage 6: Getting KO’d
You finally made it, and now lay there panting on your mat. As you turn over to see Chloe somehow smiling and dancing at the end, you question whether she’s really even human. But this time you hold back on throwing insults at your virtual trainer and maybe even apologize to her. Because no matter how bad it was, or how long it took you, you made it and you’re thankful for having a body that can make it.
As much as I can look back and laugh at the experience, I’ll admit that it’s not exactly funny in the moment. But what’s important is that over time, I came back and continued the challenge. Everything became easier, more fun and more of a hobby instead of pure torture. Such insecurities exist for everyone, and it can be super hard to remember that, but it’s essential that we don’t take these feelings to heart. Rather, we should focus our energy on being proud of whatever we can do and enjoy the slow improvement of our fitness.