We all know we’re supposed to exercise regularly. But sometimes it takes a wake-up call to get started. And it takes a community to keep going.
When I was a kid, I was too ashamed of my body to exercise. When I was raising young kids, I was too tired to exercise. When I was in graduate school, I was too preoccupied to exercise. When I started a new job, I was too overwhelmed to exercise. But when I went on a hiking getaway with two of my favorite people, I had to quit after only one night because I didn’t have the strength to explore those beautiful mountains. I was so disappointed in myself!
I needed this failure to spark some changes. Very tentatively at first, I joined a wellness group led by Chan. She had a radically different mindset than I did about fitness, and she invited all of us to learn new habits of body and mind. She had unflagging faith that no matter where we were in our health journeys, we could improve. She had us set small goals and work toward them, then we moved our targets as we gained fitness.
What I love most is that Chan’s fitness education starts with community, not calories.
Yes, I learned to adore all vegetables, and yes, I found myself trying activities that would have never crossed my mind before. 6AM soccer. Kickball. Kettlebells. Hoolahoop. Burpeeeeeees…! Yet what makes Chan’s approach most different from conventional fitness is the joyful, playful, encouraging community of enthusiastic people she attracts. Together, we get strong on so many levels.
In the three years since meeting Chan, I have transformed my Durham friendships. That matters even more than the 40 pounds I left behind and the four half-marathons under my much smaller belt. Thanks, Chan!