From Fitness to Fitting In…

…and setting my own p(e)ace and finding new ways to challenge myself.

Exercise has been an important part of my life for the last five years. It was something I fell into while I was in Hood River, Oregon and felt really alone. I joined a gym and went to group classes with the main goal of making friends. I started taking Zumba because a new friend (from a meetup group) went to that class. Being in that class was the beginning of the road to inclusion in Hood River and a lifelong appreciation for the positive changes it brought to my life that I didn’t expect.

After a few weeks of Zumba my friend suggested I try a class called R.I.P.P.E.D. I was skeptical because I wasn’t in great shape but I showed up…and it changed me. That first class was hard and I was sweating like I had some kind of fever…and it was awesome! The even better part was how welcoming all the members of the class were. The more classes I attended the better it got. I was excited to be a part of a group and have something outside of work in Hood River to be a part of and do.

Then I started seeing changes in my body. I was building muscle for the first time in a long time. I realized that skinny is great but strong is sexy. I felt better about myself both inside and out; the class was a great place to release my anxiety. It is the greatest benefit of exercise I have found. I do workout for my physical health but for my mental health as well.

Fast forward a bit and I was in another new town where I didn’t know anybody, Dana Point. The first thing I did once settled was find a R.I.P.P.E.D. class. Eventually, I found one I could afford and once again I had a group I belonged to in a place foreign to me. I had a touch stone where I was welcomed and made a little fit family. I look forward not only to the class and release of anxiety, but to seeing all of my fit family at the class.

Exercise (R.I.P.P.E.D. specifically) and the people in my fit family have truly made my life better physically and emotionally. I am not sure what I would have done without finding that outlet and I am really grateful for it. R.I.P.P.E.D. is a huge part of setting my own p(e)ace and I will keep it in my life for a long time.

I do want to keep challenging myself with physical goals I never thought I could achieve. That is why I have set the goal of running in the Halloween 5K. Running is never something I have ever thought possible or taken joy in. I know I have discussed this before but now it’s time to really start tackling this challenge. I have no idea how to go from I hate running to crushing a 5K but I will figure it out. Let’s see where this new physical challenge leads me in setting my own p(e)ace.

Check back here and my insta – setmyownp.e.ace to follow my journey to the Halloween 5K and achieving this new fitness goal.

I need a good suggestion for quality running shoes. Anyone have a brand you love?

My newest shirt showing my pride

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