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Tish’s Best Fitness Memory

Fryman Canyon Park

I can now lunge up that crazy hill!

What’s your best fitness memory? That’s the Question of the Week that each FBG is asking herself! Inspiration for this post comes from the super cool Brooks Running Run Happy campaign!

Erin and Jenn are both cheater Peters, but I get it. When you morph into a Fit Bottomed Girl, weird things start to happen. You become more daring. You’re up for trying new things. You start to believe you can do anything, excel at anything. Like I’ve said before, fitness is a gateway drug. You start to seek out physical adventures and do the impossible. Marathons, mud runs, crazy triathlons. Yeah, I see the appeal.

I would be cheating and then some if I listed all of the kick-arse moments that have stuck in my psyche. I have the memory of an elephant, after all. So I had to go back and figure out THE moment that changed the fitness game for me… A most vivid, special fitness moment that was powerful enough to ignite the biggest change. That moment happened in what many in Los Angeles would call a casual place to hike: Fryman Canyon Park.

Tish’s Best Fitness Memory

My best fitness memory didn’t garner me any medals or win me any accolades. It was just a normal morning. My friend, Elaine, asked if I’d like to go on a hike with her. This was way back in the day! Pre-FBG, pre-fitness love. I reluctantly said yes because I had nothing better to do, and she assured me it wouldn’t be hard. But hard it ended up being. I assumed that because I was thin, I was in relatively good shape, but the minute we started walking up that hill, my lungs began to ache. I felt blood in my mouth, like my lungs were physically tearing away from my body. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. I had to stop countless times to catch my breath as cute little old ladies with tiny purse dogs strutted past me.

I knew then I was in trouble. Not only was I out of shape, but also I felt terrible doing something that was supposed to be easy and peaceful. If I couldn’t complete a simple walk with a friend, then I was in trouble. I vowed after that day that I’d never feel that way again. In that instance, fitness shifted from physical standards of beauty to physical standards of wellness. Who cared if I was naturally slim? I was weak as heck! I wanted to FEEL great, move great and be great. The moment I reached the top of the hill was the moment my body reached its rock bottom. It was the moment I promised myself I’d do better—and I have. Oprah always says, “When you know better you do better.” Because of that one memory and the pain I can still recall in my chest from all that huffing and puffing, I’ve changed into a completely different person. I love that hill now. I’ve hiked that trail many, many times since and will continue to hike it many times more, just because I can.

What about you? What’s your best fitness memory? Was it a positive one or was it something that happened to you at the beginning of your fitness era that caused you to kick your bad habits and start anew? —Tish

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  1. Anna M says:

    Tish, we are fitness-rock-bottom TWINS. The exact same thing happened to me (only it was hiking in the snow in Vermont), and it’s also the reason I started hitting the gym and getting in actual shape (not just skinny-shape).

  2. Mine was swimming two years ago. I had always been a really weak swimmer – in baby pool at school, out of breath after a couple of lengths yada yada… Thought I’d always be a rubbish swimmer and then my partner taught me just a couple of small things that made my swimming technique so much better. The first time I did 50 lengths without stopping made me whoop! I’ll never be a GREAT swimmer, but I am so much better now and keep improving every time.

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