Education, The Daily Blog

Wednesday: Get it Movin’!

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{today’s post is an exemplar essay for this week’s Personal Wellness Intensive!}

Although I know that exercise is crucial for personal wellness, it isn’t something I’ve always enjoyed doing. In fact, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with exercise my entire life. I’ve played soccer, basketball, and football. I’ve been a dancer and I’ve done yoga. Most recently I’ve been running and focusing on core strength. All these activities have come together to shape me – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Although you wouldn’t believe it if you saw me on the soccer field, I played soccer for nearly 10 years. I hated it. I mostly played because my parents wanted me to. I wasn’t exactly a successful soccer player: I only scored one goal in my entire 10 years, and had a handful of successful blocks. Even though I didn’t necessarily enjoy it, those years of soccer taught me what it means to be a team player, to work with other people towards something, and what a physical lifestyle can look like.

While I “played” soccer, I was also involved in dance. I grew up learning jazz and tap dance. In high school I expanded that knowledge to modern dance. I began to perform publicly and, as a result, I learned to love to dance. I was always a shy kid; dance helped me to grow up a bit and helped me to come out of my shell. In college, I continued dancing in the tap and modern styles and learned to dance ballroom. I loved learning new dances and new forms of expression. I still credit my years of dance for helping me overcome my shyness and fear of being in front of people.

Since college, I’ve continued to exercise in various forms, mostly with yoga, and most recently with running. I had always had an aversion to running; all that mindless work, feet pounding the pavement, and running to nowhere was just not appealing to me. Recently, however, I’ve come to enjoy running as a therapeutic outlet. The mindless work, the running to nowhere has become relaxing and stress-relieving. Because my days are so intense and so focused, it’s nice to just let go, to let my feet slap the pavement, and to have nothing to do but run. I’m not a great runner, and I’m definitely not a fast runner, but opening myself up to this new form of exercise has been such a positive experience for me.

The types of exercise I’ve been involved in have changed over the years, and the ways I feel about exercise has changed, too. Ultimately, I now look to exercise not as something I have to do, but as something I want to do because of how it challenges me and shapes me and helps me maintain a sense of balance in my life. Through soccer, dance, and running, I’ve been able to grow as a person and to better live the life that I want to be living.