I’ve always been the sporty one during High School. I’ve always been seen on the basketball court across the street, after school. Always. And if I wasn’t on the court across the street, I was probably at basketball practice or at the outdoor swimming pool and the basketball court they had there. Basketball was my first love and sports made me truly happy.
MY HISTORY WITH SPORTS
I always loved doing sports. It was something, that freed my mind. It was something that made me feel comfortable about myself, which pushed me physically and also mentally. It was something I was thinking about constantly because I always wanted to improve my balling skills and my technique. Basketball was my friendships and my home. Basketball was my life. It was my first love – the relationship I was in when I was 12 to 18 years old. There was nothing, which was able to get into the way of basketball and me – not even boys. With every first love, there are good times and tough times and in the end, we didn’t make it. It was a terrible and tough breakup and my grief lasted for a long time, longer than I would have ever expected it to last.
So what was the reason I stopped? It was as simple as that, that I wasn’t feeling appreciated anymore and it literally made me sick. I was practicing my heart out, I was spending every spare time on the court and every spare second I had, thinking about it and working on myself. It is true when someone says ‘blood, sweat, and tears’. I truly wanted it all. When I thought about my future it involved basketball. I wasn’t the tallest, but I was fast and great with long throws – and I was committed to it.
SPORTS, EMOTIONS & WELL-BEING
For about 10 years I was putting sports in connection with lots of emotions. Of course, I had the best memories, but primarily I felt sad and angry and I did not hate it (because hate is a strong word), but I couldn’t feel any joy either. When I got myself to work out again, I felt sick to my stomach, weak and dizzy and I never knew why. I thought to myself ‘this isn’t just for me anymore’, and then it hit me – I was piling up those emotions of my past and they came out while working out. Now I consciously know what was in me over all the years, and I was glad to let it go.
Late last year my boyfriend Kevin from HalsXBeinbruch was focusing on his education and training on being a personal coach, and graduated from it this year. Over the past year, I experienced such a change concerning him. His immune system got better, the pain in his back was gone and he was more overall balanced and happier. He instantly felt vital and great. Of course, our vegan lifestyle and plant-based nutrition do half of the job as well. Please, also put this into consideration. Here’s a blog post on our plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle, which I would highly recommend to anyone.
MOTIVATION & GETTING BACK AT IT
My overall motivation to start working out at home in the first place, with my own body weight was, that I wanted to have at least a few muscles on my stomach when traveling to Portugal for the Lost Adventures Meetup with the group (late March this year). Was I scared how much it would be a torture to be consistent and work out every other day? – Oh hell, YES! Only the thought of having to do so dragged me down and I felt like finding an excuse to not work out. I got to know myself over the past few years and I knew that I was scared that the feeling of ‘it’s fun and good for me’ would never ever kick in. Luckily I had Kevin aka HalsXBeinbruch by my side, who still pushes me and motivates me – who even drives to the gym with me if he’s not working out that day, just to support me and train me.
PROGRESS & RESULTS
I’ve made quite some progress since the beginning of the year. I did not stop working out after I got back from the Meetup, but I was signing up at the gym Kevin is also signed up to – Raum F./Thaicross-Gym in the 22nd district of Vienna – and made myself even more committed to it. Not only did I get a few more muscles, feel stronger (no back pain for me as well anymore), but I also feel proud in a way, that I’m working on myself, my fears, my past demons. I eat and feel healthier and I actually take some time for myself when working out.
Is it easy for me now to go to the gym? Do I think it’s fun? – First of all, what truly does come easy in life? (hehe) Almost nothing, so I’d say it got a bit easier, but there are still some days when I just don’t feel like it. When I’m on the way to the gym though, there is no way back (even though my head wants to) and afterward, I’m proud of myself that despite all my bad excuses I make for ‘not being able to go’, I got up and did something for myself. It is hard work, it is muscle work, but I can now relate to when people say ‘it’s the best feeling when you’re done and you’re proud of yourself that you went and did something good for yourself and your body’. I am going to the gym and I’m riding my bike regularly and that was something I could never ever imagine doing. I enjoy it in a way, that I can see the progress and what good it does me physically and mentally again. I feel stronger and more confident, and with all that happened over the past year – on top of all the knowledge I sucked up and on defining for myself for what I, as a person, stand for and how I want to live my life.
I highly recommend everyone to pay for a personal trainer. Not only can going to the gym for the first time (probably by yourself as well) be very intimidating, because you think everyone is staring at you and judging you on the workout you do (that’s why I didn’t go before to be honest), but also it is SO SO IMPORTANT to know how to do the exercises right in shape and muscle memory. It is totally worth knowing that somebody is watching you and showing you how to use certain training equipment. It is also nice to have someone, who is supporting you mentally as well as physically and will correct you when you’re not getting the full potential out of an exercise.
I am in the lucky position, that Kevin is a personal trainer/HalsXBeinbruch, but believe me: He has to take a lot of shit from me! If you’re interested to work with him as well, don’t hesitate to call him up or text him and ask for a personal training. I can only say and see, how much it did for me. And if you also need some vegan nutrition recommendations – he’s also your man. You can book him at Holmes Place Hütteldorf, Club Danube or simply ask for a personal training session at any studio (in Vienna) you prefer.
MY TRAINING ROUTINE
I would shortly (my kind of short, I guess) tell you my current training routine. My routine varies from time to time because even though I’m a creature of habit, I also get super bored of the same routine after a while. Again, I would highly recommend you to look for a professional personal trainer of your trust, because you can make so many tiny mistakes lifting weights, which your body will hate you for in the long run if you don’t know how to do it right at the beginning – safety first!
I always do 15 repetitions and 3 sets of each exercise. If I’m able to do more than 15 moves, I increase the weight a few kilos. I start off by warming up: 8 minutes on the ergometer. If I take my bike to practice I don’t warm up and start with my routine right away.
1. Leg Press
I warm up (two extra sets) with lower kilos at the leg press and increase the kilos with every set (3 sets with maximum weight).
2. Kick Backs
Pressing/kicking back my legs separately on the machine.
3. Romanian Deadlifts
Deadlifts truly help me strengthen my lower back, arms, and joints. My upper back pain is completely gone. This exercise is one of the compound movements to strengthen your whole body as well.
4. Leg Raises
This exercise has been with me since I started working out at home first. It strengthens your lower stomach muscles.
5. Lat Pulls
This is an exercise I started doing just recently because I wanted to focus more on my back. Lat pulls are tricky at first, but once you know how to do them and how it should feel doing them (I would have never known without HalsXBeinbruch), make it so much better to work out.
My experience with working out is easily summarized: it is definitely hard work. I always thought though, that I would only do it for body toning, which is definitely also a reason, but I’m mostly doing it for my mental and physical health. I’m working out because I want to stay in shape and feel my body. I want to work for something and it definitely made me way more body positive. It takes off my mind from things, which are constantly on my mind. Of course, it takes time, but it’s for my own good. In combination with my plant-based vegan diet, it is the best health protection and healthcare I can give myself at this age and my future self. I can feel the progress I’m making and I feel much more myself. I can’t wait though until my basketball buddy Raphi is ready for some hoop time again! Those new basketball shoes need some court!
I hope I was able to motivate you a little bit!!! It’s not always the most favorite activity of mine either – honestly? Sometimes I’d rather stay on my couch – but the pros definitely prevail. My advice to you: Get a personal trainer for at least 2–10 sessions and let him/her show you how it’s done and who motivates you to do extra reps. You can seriously injure your body or work out counterproductive by making wrong moves. It’s money well spent!
Certified Personal Trainer at PFA Vienna
The named service contractors did not pay me in any way, to advertise for them.
All services named are out of personal interest and recommendation.