When I first started at AFS, I was newly single and wanted to feel better about myself. I didn’t like the person in the mirror anymore—it was like I was a ghost of myself, and with all the change already occurring, what was one more? It was time that I prioritized my life and put myself first. I knew I needed to invest real time and effort into being the person I wanted and having the life I wanted. I treated it like a job I had to do: I had to change.
I found out about AFS from my job—not the one about changing, but my real one—has a partnership with AFS, so I figured why not try a class? I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of a hard workout and boy did I get it! The second I took my first class I knew I would love it here. I knew I could go on a treadmill or bike at another gym, but it’s easy to zone out on those machines and you end up giving half-effort. At AFS, it was like I could feel the change on the horizon and I knew that hard work would bring results. There was no getting off easy, which is exactly what I needed.
I noticed my improvements when I started to have more energy throughout the day. Before AFS, I was outgoing and social but I tired easily, so I felt like I wasn’t living to my full potential. After AFS, I have so much energy I don’t know what to do with it all! I suddenly became interested in running and competing, which was new for me. I’m still learning the ins and outs, but I’ve been loving it since I began and I do about two competitions a month now. Not only did I feel better, but I looked better too. I never wanted to be someone who cared too much about appearances or being skinny, and Dylan helped me realize that caring about my health doesn’t have to be superficial. Knowing that my body is healthy helps build my confidence, which in turn helps me appreciate the ways that I do actually look better. People started complimenting me on my progress, noticing the differences in my appearance and in my liveliness, especially at work. NuStep has actually recognized me for my achievements and progress, which means a lot knowing how far I’ve come.
There’s always going to be a reason not to come and at first I was finding those reasons. Like I said before, I had to treat it like a job: I have to be here, I have to make this a routine. It’s almost like you have to schedule it like a work meeting—you know you can’t just skip those! The group setting also helped me reach success. When you’re on your own, there’s no accountability. Dylan, my instructors, and my workout friends were either excited to see me or noticed when I wasn’t there. I didn’t want to let them down and as a result let myself down too. Once I learned how to make going to AFS a routine, everything else fell into place. Now it’s like I’m addicted! If I miss a day of working out, I feel guilty. It throws my life balance off and I lose my groove until I get back at it.
Like I said before, I didn’t want to be that person who’s super concerned about being skinny. I didn’t want to see results and then obsess over them or become super focused on my outward appearance. I wanted to be carefree about how people saw me and just enjoy my life day to day. At the same time, I didn’t want to put all this effort into working out and not see any results at all. Going to the gym is an investment of time and money and there’s always so much I could do with my day! I was worried that I’d waste time working out when I could be building relationships or doing something relaxing. Luckily, none of my fears came true! I build relationships at AFS, I have fun in the workouts, and the thing that matters most to me is my spirit–not my appearance.
My biggest support is, of course, my practitioner Dylan. He checks in with me all the time and I know he’s not faking his interest or just being nice. He’s actually invested in my well-being and notices when I’m not here. Dylan and I are always talking about my goals and how to reach them, short and long term. He’s got my back! I happen to take Chris’ classes pretty often too and he’s always happy to see me, always encouraging me throughout the workout. When I think about not coming, I think about how much I don’t want to let them down. They keep me accountable by telling me I need to be here, but they also make me want to be here.