At 18, my first relationship ended.
I didn’t know what to do, how to feel, or what to think as utter helplessness consumed my heart. I remember feeling numb for the next couple of weeks as I decided to shut out everyone. And I faced one of the darkest times in my life. It broke my heart, it shattered my spirit, and it sucked the joy out of my soul. I wanted to disappear forever, but that’s when something happened.
After months of crying the minute I awoke, my mind suddenly changed. It felt like a rapid realization of anger. Not towards myself, or anyone else, but to the situation itself. I became fed up with identifying myself as the victim. And I no longer wanted to let that one person destroy the quality of life for the rest of my days. I had enough of letting it define who I was and who I was going to become.
That’s when exercise became a crucial factor in my life.
Believe it or not, I actually started with just five push ups a day. I gradually increased the level of intensity in my workouts as time went on, and I still exercise to this day. I decided to go to the gym, and exercise provided the healing that I needed, especially after a break-up. The concept of exercise is not only good for your body, but also for your mind and soul.
Exercise says you can, every time you finish a set of push ups. It displays your strength beyond your beliefs, every time you finish an hour of boot camp. It teaches you that you can overcome anything that comes your way, every time you complete a hot yoga class. Exercise not only cleared my mind, but it made me understand why the relationship had to end. Yoga gave me peace and closure toward every emotion I felt. Strength training made me feel stronger than my heartbroken self, and cardio always knew how to clear my mind, especially of the very worst thoughts.
The rewards outweigh the pain.
Now I know, a few of you reading this, have probably never picked up a dumbbell in your life, or even walked on a treadmill. But I’m just saying, you won’t regret it if you do. I know exercise can take a toll of exhaustion on your body, and eating healthy seems too tedious, but the rewards on the other side will make the journey worth it.
A broken heart is the worst possible feeling to experience in this life, it leaves you feeling weak everyday, it causes you to make irrational decisions that you wouldn’t normally initiate, it makes you cry constantly, and it leaves you feeling empty. But that’s where exercise came in – when your heart says you can’t, exercise proves that you can. When your emotions tell you that you’re weak, exercise pushes you to be strong. When your thoughts remind you only of pain, exercise will teach you how to turn it into power.