When I began 2016, as I chose the word strong, I knew that part of that for me was going to become strength training with my running. I'm great at sticking to my runs, not so great at implementing the strength part. However, strength is just as vital to being a healthy runner as getting out and running itself. So, I was determined to implement that.
When I returned from Colombia in February, that is when I was ready to begin getting serious about it. So, I wandered my way into the YMCA. I had every intention of just using the weight machines and creating a rotation for myself. However, when I went the first time, the girl at the desk asked me if I was there for TRX class. I said "No, but that sounds interesting. What is it?"
And as she explained it, I became interested. I went to the class and watched for a few minutes. It looked hard and slightly intimidating, although the instructor invited me in. I wasn't ready and I said "maybe next time." And when the next time came around, I decided to attend.
Mind you, this was a little out of my comfort zone. I didn't know any of them and they seemed to all know each other well. And while I am an extrovert, in a new group I can be pretty quiet and reserved and insecure. But it was time to break those habits and push past fears and work on becoming strong- physically of course; but getting over comfort zone things was also an emotional strengthening for me. So, I went to the class and was welcomed from the get go. And I have been going since. 9 months later, the class has become a huge part of my life.
On that first day, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt a little silly and I got tangled up in the straps more than once, but Steck was so gracious always in his helping me, and the other people in the class were super encouraging of my efforts and presence. I felt at home right away, even if completely silly in my execution of the exercises. I was very weak, and very aware of that. I did not know what TRX was, but I fell in love with a new "sport" if you can call it that. Some days I am tired and have to talk myself into my morning run; but the truth is, I have never had to talk myself into TRX class.
I have grown to love it as much as I love running. In part because I can feel how it has strengthened me through this year. I may not be super muscle woman (I am far from it...). I am still looking to find the tone there, but I can FEEL it. I have been able to go from a plank of only 30 seconds to now holding it nearly 3 min and 30 seconds (and hopefully I can continue growing in that way, but whew, it is really hard!) Perhaps in 2017 I will grow strong enough to make it through one of the song challenges (which is to say we do all kinds of core "moves" during a song, called out by Steck, and try to make it through the whole song. I have a very long way to go to make that happen....) I used to do very weak push-ups- that is to say, girly push-ups and not well at that, to now being able to push out the real deal in sets. The list goes on. TRX works pretty well any muscle you can imagine.....and then some you didn't know existed.
So, when I began this year, I did not know what would come in the way of strength training. I certainly did not expect to find a class to utilize that. Nor the group of friends that come along with that. Which I want to address for a moment. Because honestly the people have helped me grow stronger emotionally as much as the class has helped me physically.
I didn't know any of them to begin. But I had been praying for friends. Real friends in faith and people who could become a support system for me in a healthy way. I went to Colombia and got a taste of that and so I wanted it more. God always knows the perfect timing and the perfect ways. I would not have found TRX on my own or even been brave enough to try the class prior to Colombia. But I was beginning at that point to come out of my little comfort zone and expand. And God had all these things lined up.
I did not get to know them right away, but I felt at home immediately. And as the year has gone along, they have become my family. They truly have begun to fill that role. They are an answer to my prayer of finding a great support group. Tammy makes me laugh when I want to cry and she's been there every time I need to share anything. Aaron has been faithful in asking how he can pray for me and supports me greatly in that way. Steck has helped me to learn to love who I am in my own skin and mind and body. Tracy inspires me to grow individually both in a physical sense (because truth is, she is one beautifully toned lady) and to blossom on a personal level. Joe is always interested in what I have going on and lets me drone on about my races. Kristi is out right now because of physical therapy but she is always so kind and loving and encouraging. The group has really become a little family to me and I look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday morning of working out with them. I didn't use to be a group fitness person, but I have changed my mind about that. These friends help me grow stronger every week.... physically and emotionally. They challenge me to be a better me, to never quit. (thank you Aaron for challenging me to keep going on the plank challenges...and to Steck, who has figured out what makes me want to fight harder.)
One last thing to share is that the class has taught me that I can do more than I thought possible when I keep pushing myself and that has grown to apply to not quitting on who I am growing to become as a woman as well, and to allowing Christ to work his strength through my weaknesses. Because let's face it, I have learned through this year that while I have strength within, the real truth is that I am totally weak without Him. I am nothing without Him. Through my study of the word strong this verse has continuously come up, and it seems to apply to all areas of life.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."