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Crushin’ It: Starting Your Fitness Journey During The Pandemic

Motivation to exercise is always hard to find for an Average Joe. When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, the possibility of hitting the gym was demolished. The Chloe Ting YouTube fitness trend lasted about a month or two, and the majority of people used quarantine as an excuse to avoid working out. On the contrary, others […]

Motivation to exercise is always hard to find for an Average Joe. When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, the possibility of hitting the gym was demolished. The Chloe Ting YouTube fitness trend lasted about a month or two, and the majority of people used quarantine as an excuse to avoid working out. On the contrary, others took this as a challenge and pushed themselves harder than ever.

While many people eventually loosened up on the stay at home order, Tyler Webster (’21) quarantined with his family for months on end. Reaching his absolute peak of boredom around June, he decided to tackle the world of fitness. Conveniently having a gym in his garage, he used his motivation of wanting to be more competitive to start working out. An athlete for his entire life, Tyler knew what areas of strength to focus on to build muscle. Well aware that he had some time to train before returning to the world of sports, he got to work.

Although he has definitely noticed a physical difference, he explains, “I don’t know about mental [difference]. Since I haven’t gotten to compete yet, I can’t compare the mindsets.”

Despite the lack of comparison, he says working out helps clear his mind. “Working out is definitely a distraction from other things going on in my life and it helps take out all the stress of my day.”

He has formulated a consistent routine that he follows five to six days a week. Waking up early in the morning, he finishes his prior obligations before working out. “I don’t really have trouble finding the motivation because it’s something I enjoy doing.”

Webster makes sure to add that music has a significant influence on his motivation. Rap is typically his go-to genre, and his favorite song at the moment is “Met Gala” by Gucci Mane. He also encourages others to workout and lift weights if the idea even remotely appeals to them.

“Pick a goal and work towards it slowly,” he says. “Try to stick to a routine.” If everyone takes Tyler’s advice, we’ll all come out of quarantine looking built as ever. 

Bella Warren (’21) has absolutely crushed the workout game during the pandemic. Struggling for years to find the motivation to workout, she finally found her passion for lifting weights. For quite some time, Bella’s brother begged her everyday to come to the gym with him and she always declined the offer.

“I was scared and had no idea what I was doing so I didn’t want to go,” she shared. When her brother was about to leave for college prior to COVID, she finally said yes to spend more time with him

“When I first started working out I was really intimidated and would just go on the bike or something while he worked out,” she says of her slow introduction to fitness.

It wasn’t until a few months later that Bella widened her horizons to weight lifting. She looked at Instagram fitness models workouts and applied them to her gym routines.

“All of a sudden I found myself doing a bunch of workouts from muscle memory,” the senior says. “I just tied together a few workouts and went from there.”

Over time, Bella was able to fully adapt to the gym setting and absolutely kills the workout game on the daily. She mixes up her routine with different days focusing on one body part. She explains she has trouble constantly finding motivation, but she pushes through it.

“The biggest thing for me is knowing the feeling that I’ll feel afterwards. I make it a habit rather than a choice,” Bella says of her routine, which consists of trips to gym five to six days a week.

Even through COVID, she’s been able to go to the gym where her dad works. Since it’s closed to non-employees, she is staying safe. She’s extremely grateful for the opportunity and definitely takes advantage of it. She finds the positive in the pandemic and uses it as motivation.

“I’ve had a lot more time on my hand and it’s harder to find excuses so that’s good.”

Bella is a very positive person, and is able to find light in most cases. She says that talking about her fitness journey is really cool for her, mentioning how proud she is to see how far she’s come.

“From knowing two exercises at the beginning to now is insane. I feel really accomplished because I have always considered myself anything but athletic and now I genuinely feel strong and like I can do something.”

It’s so inspirational to see how far physically and mentally Bella has come since beginning this journey. She says if she can give any advice to those who want it, it’s to “find something that you enjoy doing. The point of working out is to feel better physically and mentally. Just start something and take your first step.” S

From home workouts to running to CrossFit, she’s finally found something she’s passionate about and loves weight training. Finally, she shared the quote that has helped her through everything. “It’s okay to fail, it’s just not okay to not try, quit, or give up.” After first hearing the quote, she decided then and there that she was in the workout game to crush it. 

Jacob Yee (’21) has unique circumstances when it comes to fitness, getting off to an early start when he started working out eighth grade. He was pretty consistent with working out a few times a week until sophomore year when he took it to the next level.

“I saw pictures of my dad in high school and college, and I guess I wanted to look like him.” He used this as well as his height as motivation to get in shape. “Since I’ve always been shorter than everyone, I thought if I was stronger that it would compensate for the lack of height.”

Obviously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being short, but Jacob just felt that this was a good motivation for his personal experience.

“I definitely feel better about myself when I workout,” he states. “When I do something physically active, it makes me feel better mentally.”

“I think it’s easy to get burnt out on it. That’s when I have to remember it’s okay to take a break.” Jacob mentions that when he takes short breaks from fitness, he builds up motivation and excitement to get back in the gym.

Freshman year during a basketball game, he dislocated his shoulder, tainting the possibility of working out. “

“When I was recovering from the first dislocation, everything got out of wack mentally and physically, so I was like ‘let’s not let that happen again!’”

When he was fully healed, he was more excited than ever to finally lift weights again. He gained muscle and worked harder everyday, extremely grateful for the opportunity to re-enter the world of fitness.

Unfortunately, he hurt himself again. Having multiple dislocations in his shoulder, he had to have surgery on it early September. Although he is stuck in physical therapy and giving his shoulder time to heal, he anticipates the day he can start working out again.

With such a strong passion for working out, he gives advice to those who may want it. “Start slow,” he says, “Everyone’s body is different, so you might now see results as fast as other people, and it might not come as easy to you as it does others. Consistently is key.”

Even though Jacob can’t workout right now, he still wants to pass along the message that physical health definitely impacts mental health in a positive way. Jacob is a big inspiration to those who may want to start taking fitness more seriously.

I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to talk to these three students about their passion for fitness. Personally, I find every excuse in the book to stay in bed watching Netflix all day. In different ways, they all gave me motivation to get up and workout. Hearing their stories and advice, I definitely developed motivation to begin my fitness journey. 

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