Jarome Iginla and Kobe Bryant serve as role models

My journey to becoming the fitness fanatic I am today began when I first started high school.

I was under the impression that Hollywood stereotypes were always true — mainly the one that jocks were always considered the kings of the campus.

I wanted to be a king.

My goal was to join the football team in order to live that Hollywood high-school dream.

After a weeklong tryout, the announcements were made.

I had made the team; in fact, everyone who tried out made the team. Nonetheless, this was still a personal victory no matter how small it may be considered.

Standing 5′ 6″ tall and weighing in at a staggering 130 lbs., I was easily one of the smallest members of the team and was the backup to the backup defensive backs.This is me at the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand back in 2008.
Photo taken by: Shivonne Prasad

Even though it was a worthwhile experience, after that season was over my short football career came to an end.

Fast-forward about four years into the future.

My best friends, who have been athletes their entire lives and attend the gym on a regular basis, finally convinced me to join them for a few workouts.

I recall stepping onto the weight floor of the YMCA and feeling more out of place than ever before. My goal was simply to stay out of everyone’s way.

The thunderous crash of free-weights hitting the floor, 200 lb. men grunting and high-fiving one another after each successful set, and everyone else seemingly sizing me up as I take every cautious step.

Thankfully my two best friends made excellent instructors as they showed me the ways of the weight room floor.

My decision was made. The satisfaction I experienced after a few training sessions was not a sensation that I would willingly forfeit. Eventually I made the commitment to myself to attend the gym at least three days a week, which translated into getting a job at the YMCA.

As of August 2012 it will officially be six years since working out has been engrained in my lifestyle. If I’m not attending class or at my part-time job, there’s a very good chance that you will find me in one of three gyms I attend on a regular basis.

Establishing a routine and sticking with it is likely the most challenging aspect of working out. Without question there is a great deal of trial and error associated with it, but I found that surrounding yourself with individuals who share a similar vision is the easiest way to remaining accountable.

Not only are they feeding you new information that will help you improve but having friends in the gym offers a social aspect to working out that makes it easier to show up.

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Sprasad@cjournal.ca