That is a great question!
Like most people, I just wanted to feel and look better so with that in mind, I took my first step into the fitness world. Mind you, I was two years into the Marine Corps and I was certainly not enjoying the fact that I HAD to work out.
This resulted in putting forth minimal effort and minimal effort typical produces minimal results. Eventually I found my way. I started small.
I would run on my own and do simple workouts in the corner of the gym where no one could judge me. Eventually, short runs turned into longer runs and lifting became my hobby. As I became stronger, I gained confidence. More confidence resulted in less concern about the people around me and whether they were even paying attention or judging me. The fact is we all need to start somewhere and if you stay consistent, confidence will develop over time.
I had never set any crazy goals for myself; I just wanted to feel better. However, I did have some driving factors. I am naturally a competitive person! Healthy competition has helped me to push myself every day.
While I was in the Marine Corps, I made a close friend whose husband was also an active duty Marines. This close friend was a stay-at-home mom with two kids, and she easily could out run me. With my already strong competitive drive and my new found confidence I absolutely could not let her continue to beat me on a daily basis! She and I began to hit the running trail hard continue to push each other. With time, I was able to keep up with her.
Fast forward to right now. I have 2 body building competitions under my belt and I am
currently preparing for another show this summer. I have successfully completed The Spartan Trifecta with more races on the horizon. When others learn about my fitness accomplishments, I am often asked questions like, "how?”, “what do you do?”, and “can you teach me?”
For me it is not the “how;” the how is easy. Nike says, “Just Do It", and they're right! Seriously, just go move. Start somewhere…..anywhere. When you take that first step, the potential for success is endless.
For me, it’s my "why". If you don’t have a why you won’t have a driving factor, if you’re just going through the motions, sure, you might get somewhere, but certainly not as far are your full potential can bring you.
Until 2014, never in my life did I ever think about body building, let alone care very much for it. Tiny bikinis, a stage, high-heels, all eyes on me…. HA! Anyone who knew me then would tell you how surprised they were when I started talking about it, let alone follow through and actually compete in a show.
But I loved lifting, and I got to a point where I craved a bigger challenge.
I wanted a new "why.”
I wanted something that was going to put me in a position where I either went all in to succeed, or I wouldn't do it at all. The thing with body building is you are either all in or you’re out, there is no in between and that type of challenge appealed to me.
After my first competition, I was hooked and I was already looking for the next. This time, I changed my class from Bikini to Figure, which meant building more muscle. This was more of a challenge.
As you can see, challenges drive me. Tell me I can’t do it and I’m going to work my ass off to do it; not to prove you wrong, but to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Over the last couple of years I have expanded my training and I've started to incorporate CrossFit into my routine. This happened because it was something that I had not tried before and I was intrigued. I ended up being very lucky when I started training at Old Orchard based in Jackson, MO with some amazing and encouraging coaches who to this day push me to my limits and challenge me to give my all, 100% of the time. I love to lift, and CrossFit has only added to that love, it has molded me into a well-rounded athlete.
I remember my first spartan race, which was about a month after I started CrossFit. There was one obstacle called the “Multi-Rig”, where you are hanging from rings and ropes and trying to get yourself across without falling. This was new to me, and although I could climb a rope with no problem, within the first transition I have already fallen to the ground. Not surprised, I did my 30-burpee penalty and finished the race. A few months later we attempted our second Spartan race, and again, I faced the multi-rig. Having more experience with rings, a stronger grip, and more confidence on obstacles like this, I made it through with no issues. Ringing the bell at the end of the obstacle I jumped off and cheered VERY loudly! Not only because I made it through, but because I was not to the side performing 30 burpees…and burpees suck. This experience really opened my eyes to the benefits I was gaining from CrossFit and evolving my training.
Currently, I am training for several things. First, and most importantly, for my own sanity; being active is my release and my therapy. Secondly, I am training for my second half marathon at the end of this month, and my next figure competition at the end of June. I lift, I run, and I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, into all types of training styles.
So now that you’ve heard almost everything about how I ended up where I am now, I’ll get to my point. We all start somewhere, and there is no one way to do it. We all enjoy different things, whether it be lifting, running, cycling, hiking or Zumba, and the most important aspect to these things is that you are active, you are doing something. You are getting up and trying something uncomfortable.
There are too many people, articles and blogs telling you there is a right and a wrong way, but guess what? You can't go wrong if you just start something and stay consistent!
Find what works for you. DON’T be afraid to try something new and make it something that you enjoy, and could come to love.
DO be afraid of never venturing out of your comfort zone to find that, and being stuck with a program that you dread, because frankly, you won’t get far with it.
And with that I leave you with this question; what is it your why, and how are you going to get yourself where you envision yourself?
If I can ever be of any help to you, even to just talk, feel free to reach out to me!
Annie Morozko, certified personal trainer