It was 6 am on January 4th, 2016 and it was cold and deathly dark out but I dragged my sorry butt to my first ever 3rd Degree class. I started off just like everyone else, nervous and anxious about just what it is that I was about to get myself into. So there I was on Day 1 battling against my body with a cardio blast that I hadn’t seen in years. Lots and lots of cardio, so much in fact that I nearly passed out! During my first break, I was hunched over with my hands on my knees and gasping for air. “Keep your head up! There is no air down there!” yelled Sabrina with her mic muted. Sure enough, as I tilted my head towards the heavens, the air supply became so much better! As I was trying to regain my composure I remember thinking to myself: “I don’t think I can do this!”. That first class was brutal!
I didn’t give up.
As the days grew into weeks and weeks into rounds, I noticed that not only was my body changing positively, my mindset was changing positively as well. My aggravating anxiety was easing, my self-doubt was falling, my confidence was rising and -combined with other self-help initiatives (reading, writing, good food etc)- I was becoming much more content with my life. With all of these changes in place, I was finally able to legitimately heal from childhood sexual abuse. While it took a lot of work and a lot of help from a lot of different people, I can honestly say that my 3rd Degree experience was the bow to tie all of my healing together.
It took me a long time to find a way past the demons of my life. I tried so many different things like buying cars, collecting useless stuff, obsessing over perfection and just trying to pin blame on just about anything that moved. Everything I tried just didn’t work. I was trying to run, but I wasn’t actually running.
Desperate for a solution, I began a mission to hike 5 km’s every day in 2015 with a goal to hike at least 1,000 km’s that year. Some days I would hike 30+ km’s if I was having a really rough day! It didn’t take long before I began to notice that my small 45-minute “time out” walk every day was loosen up the bad thoughts in my head. My world started to connect and the dirty memories of my past began to fade. Knowing that this small bit of exercise was effective, I needed more! I could see the freedom that small exercise was giving me so I needed to find a way to take my healing to another level. So with the recommendation of friends who were clients, I signed up for 3rd Degree Training.
A game changer.
I have been given so much by so many people in my life I wanted an opportunity to give back. So this spring when Sabrina asked me if I wanted to jump into the middle of the mats to help out as a motivator, I was over-the-top with excitement. We live in a province where a majority of its citizens are overweight and mental illness is quickly becoming a major concern. I truly believe that in order to make a change in the world, you must be the change. Being able to help motivate others to get moving and to stay moving is a passion of mine and is why I take my role at 3rd Degree as a motivator to heart. It is truly an honor to help others.
Being a motivator at 3rd Degree is not a job to me. It is a way of giving my exercise routine a real purpose. A purpose to help others stay fit with a side-effect of keeping me fit. I love my role at 3rd Degree and if I could do it every hour of every day, I would. Every time I have a chance to motivate a class I am always blown away by the determination and abilities of each of our clients -which we consider friends. I am continually inspired by the daily increments of strength and happiness that I see in everyone who attends regularly. When I leave the mats, I am always amazed by the positive energy going out the door than what came in. I never see anyone unhappy when they leave -regardless of the workout.
Self-improvement is not a competition and not a numbers game. Self-improvement is not something that can always be achieved alone, it sometimes takes a community. A community who helps pick each other up when they fall down. A community who understands the goals and needs of each person. A community who wants everyone in it to succeed with those goals and in life. A community who genuinely respects everyone, even when there are disagreements. My 3rd Degree community is one that I take to heart and one that has, in turn, made my heart strong. From the first day on that bitterly cold January morning in 2016 until now, I wouldn’t be where I am at without my fitness community. Thank you all for allowing me to help you achieve your fitness goals, this really isn’t a job to me.
For more information on 3rd Degree Training and how you can join, please visit the website: http://3rddegreetraining.com/