I've always struggled to redefine my relationship with fitness.
As a child, my parents enrolled me in every sport imaginable to temper my constant bouncing-off-the-walls energy. With age, my whole persona was "the athlete"— competition motivating my love for fitness. But adulthood changed everything for me. I no longer had a coach, team, or scoreboard holding me accountable for getting that lift in or taking that run. Learning to appreciate my monogamous relationship with the gym was tough, but group spin, Pilates, and yoga classes helped me to evolve.
Through it all, though, falling in love with at-home fitness has been the hardest spark to ignite.
Under my parents' roof, I spent four weeks on low-energy autopilot: eating, drinking, binging Netflix and TikTok, sleeping, repeat.
We're all adjusting to this new normal simultaneously — you know what endless rainy days, little to no social interaction, and anxiety over the unknown can do to one's mental state and overall drive.
It was a FaceTime conversation with my brother that motivated me to exercise again.
As big brothers do, he bet that I couldn't do a push-up. The competitor in me didn't hesitate to drop down — but the gymless version of myself failed to push off the floor.
While we both got a good laugh out of my massive fail, that moment was the perfect metaphor for how I was feeling overall: weak and a bit ridiculous.
It was that moment that I craved strength — both mentally and physically.
Like any good athlete, I decided to strategise. I needed to set realistic goals for myself so I could celebrate my small wins rather than get discouraged by lofty expectations.
After completing one, I was warmed up and amazed by how fast the time flew. So, I committed to one more — and before I knew it, I completed a 30-minute workout and felt great.
Committing to one YouTube channel has presented its own set of benefits, too. Now that I'm familiar with Brown's videos, I've been able to customise my own routine.
In my computer notes, I created a "workouts" tab. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday are dedicated to two ab workouts, two leg workouts, two arm workouts, and two butt workouts — each one being five minutes.
Without thinking, I press a link, get through a video, and continue to the next. I'm no longer wasting time endlessly scrolling for a new circuit.
For anyone sceptical about how effective a five-minute workout can be — I challenge you to give Brown's videos a try.
Her Pilates technique is all about stretching as you tone. Since she focuses on specific body parts in each video, you can prioritise the muscles and joints you want to strengthen and loosen.
There is a lot of power in being able to change your mental and physical well-being in a matter of minutes. Pulling inspiration from my past to create my new normal is a lesson I will carry with me far beyond this time of social distancing.