My Fitness Journey

I grew up in an extremely active family. Most of my life, I've never had a problem staying active. But, I have found it more and more difficult since I graduated college and have been running my own business. It's so easy to let the things that are most important, like taking care of ourselves and our bodies slip by the wayside when work and life get so busy. In the last year I've really made it a priority again to take care of myself and my body and stay active! This is my journey for how I got to a place where I finally feel comfortable again in my fitness routine, tactics I've used and how I plan to continue to get stronger and feel better!

Like I mentioned, I grew up in a super active family. My dad is in the water sports business and is an avid windsurfer. Growing up, he was always (and still is) a runner, skier, windsurfer and has always been super active... pretty much, he puts everyone else to shame when it comes to exercising. My mom is the same! When I was a baby she would run on the treadmill with me in the baby bjorn! HA! She was always going to spinning classes, lifting weights, hiking, paddle boarding, you name it, she does it.

Since I could walk I was active because that was and still is our families lifestyle. We hike and paddle board, and recently,  all four of us even went to a yoga class for my Dad's birthday! When I was young, my dad even signed me up for big wheel races (he's a race car driver also... he was clearly trying to instill the racing gene into me at a very young age)! Remember big wheel bikes!? (see what I'm talking about HERE).

I was a swimmer, a gymnast, a soccer player and a tennis player throughout the years. The only one that stuck was tennis. (I also was a stand up paddle board instructor for 7 Summer's and taught sailing and windsurfing while I was in High School).  I was the captain of the varsity tennis team throughout High School. It was a huge part of my life. I trained and played year round... so, staying active was no issue. I debated playing college tennis but decided that I wanted to focus on school and that playing a college sport would "take away from my college experience". I ended up going to art school anyways, so there wasn't  a tennis team option even if I had wanted to play! 

Freshman year, I struggled a little with staying active (typical freshman year of college, right?!) Sometimes I would go to the gym in my dorm (usually around midnight.) Let's just say this wasn't the best year for me, fitness wise. It was about the time that athletic wear became "cool". You obviously know that I love fashion, so starting to find workout clothes that I loved wearing really helped to motivate me. I know it may sound silly, but it's true. When I have workout gear I feel great in, it honestly makes me feel better about myself and pushes me to work out. This set is from Carbon38 which has become my favorite place to find activewear that I look and feel good in. I'm wearing pieces from their Sayang Collection. The gorgeous woven details in the pieces make them look so luxe and the quality is awesome! I also love THESE sneakers from Chinese Laundry. They're so comfy and I love the shape of the sole, so fun!!!

So Freshman year of college was definitely I low point for me. But, sophomore year, I started doing yoga and became addicted. For quite a while, this was how I got most of my exercise while living in Chicago. When I was home in Madison, I would paddle board often but that's about it. I love yoga, I really do. But I found myself really missing cardio. Since I'm not a runner (I would love to be but in all honesty I hate running) it was my mission to find a form of cardio that I loved. Enter Fly Wheel. It's possibly the most fun I've ever had in a workout. Their spin classes are INSANE. I feel like I get a great workout but the best part is that it's actually fun! Upbeat, killer instructors and fun music to ride to... It's so good! Their Fly Barre classes are also awesome. Before I tried their barre class I wasn't a fan. I felt like Barre was boring, but Fly Wheel completely changed my opinion with their fast paced Barre class (also with great music). I've also heard that their Arms & Abs class is AMAZE, but I haven't  had a chance to make it yet. It's definitely on my list!

Staying motivated is still hard for me though. It's so easy for me to skip workouts because I'm "too busy" or "too tired to get out of bed in the morning"... But the truth is, I feel my best when I'm active. I have more energy and I feel best about my body. So, why to I keep making excuses to skip workouts? That's something I'm working on. With Fly Wheel, I try to book my bike in advance and I always put my workouts on the calendar. Once something's on my calendar I rarely take it off. So, that's been helpful for me. Another thing that's been helpful is looking to other badass, super fit women for motivation. When I look at Olivia Culpo or Bruna LĂ­rio two beautiful girls who totally kill it and still have time to stay in unbelievable shape it reminds me that I have no excuse. Being active is probably one of the very last things I should let go of. Because, when you have something that makes you feel better, makes you more productive, more energetic, happier, helps you sleep better and makes you feel more confident... It's definitely something we shouldn't be making excuses to not do. 

Finally, I'm feeling like I'm in a great place in my active life. Having workouts and workout wear I love, I am so motivated and actually love working out now! Workouts are a priority for me, even when like is crazy busy! If you haven't tried Fly Wheel... you have to try it out! You can use code: FLYTHOSEWHITEW for a free first class! Hope to see you there!!! Do you guys have favorite workouts? Leave your favorites in the comments! I'd love to hear what works for you!

xx Ali

Photos by: Ashley of Sed Bona

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