What’s one fitness experience that stands out for you, good or bad, from 2019?

It’s the new year and we’re doing some reflecting here at Fit is a Feminist Issue. I asked the team to share one fitness experience that stood out for them in 2019, good or bad, but significant in some way. This is the first in a series of three group posts.

Bettina:  It’s not really one single experience, but getting into cycling has been huge for me this year. I really, really love it. If you’re really looking for just one experience, I would make it a swim session from about a month ago. It was my longest session in a long time and it felt AMAZING. I just felt strong and fast and like I could go on forever.

Natalie: Managing my plantar fasciitis effectively with stretching and good foot support was a highlight this year for sure. I averaged more steps than last year and was pain free. I’ve learned to recognize the early warning signs that my feet need more attention.

Gaining the insight on what my body needs to support being more active feels great. It is a benefit of being a bit older & having an informed network of peers who are great at sharing information without judgement.

Mina: Gosh. Hard to choose. So many highs and lows. In February, I was in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, a city I hardly knew, for rehearsals for my play, which the theatre department was doing. The whole experience felt so new and strange (first production of a play I’d written). I needed my runs to stay grounded and calm. After some exploring, I discovered a route out to some cornfields. I felt so strong and independent running in the cold, past snow dusted fields at rest for the winter. I felt simultaneously alone and a stranger, but also like I belonged. The landscape was similar to where my grandparents were apple farmers in Southern Ontario. So, I had this feeling of coming home. I like running with such strong emotions blowing through. Feels cleansing.

Marjorie: I started working with a trainer on the barbell lifts less than 4 months after my hysterectomy! I am surprised and delighted at my relatively easy and quick recovery, and as a result, my mostly seamless return to the gym. I was so afraid it would be like other surgeries I’ve had with a year or more of feeling out of sorts. Instead, as far as I can tell, the activities I introduced seemed to actually reduce my pain and help me get back into full strength more quickly. 7 months post-op, I am now completely (hysterectomy-related) pain-free and enjoying pushing my limits in new ways!

Christine: Training for my 3rd degree black belt test in February! I worked consistently with the most advanced students in my class and it was a terrific experience. Not only did they help me to improve but I became more confident in the things that I already knew.

Sam: For me, the trip to Newfoundland with Sarah, Cate, Susan, and David was both a high and a low. I loved the harsh landscape and the beauty of Newfoundland’s cold, wet northwest coast. I loved riding my bike along the coast from port to port. There were days of tough riding sure and I shivered more than one expects to in Canada in June, but still no part of the riding, not even cold, wet days, not even breaking my bike, was a low. The low was when the whole group went off hiking and I couldn’t go because of my severely damaged arthritic knee. When I met with the knee surgeon later that summer, it was that day–the day of no hiking–that I kept in mind. I’m excited to have a full functioning knee.

Tracy: My most salient fitness experience this year was grappling with not being able to run due to an achilles injury. At first it was super depressing. Then I started to accept it and decided to go to yoga every day. Once I did that it took my mind off of not being able to run and let me channel my energy into other things I could do that were more adaptable to my injury. Doing hot yoga daily for a couple of months has been a really great way to round out 2019. And I’m about to ease back into running. Wish me luck!

Catherine: 2019 has been a year with ups and lots of downs physically. I was in physical therapy for an ankle injury, still on meds for a blood clot in my thigh, and then dealing with pancreatitis. All those problems resolved, and I was able be pretty active over the summer with cycling, hiking and some swimming. However, my constant friend throughout all of the year has been yoga. I do some almost every day. It helps me feel happier, more pain and creak-free, and supports everything else I do. And there’s no judgment– I do what I do, and leave the rest behind. Yoga has become the foundation of my day and the foundation of all of my activity. And that will continue to be true in 2020.

Do you have one fitness experience, good or bad or just significant for you in some way, that stands out from 2019? Tell us your story!

2019 in bright lights. Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash .