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Done Being a Couch Potato

How my Thrive Global workshop motivated me to return to exercise

When I lived in a major city, I was constantly chasing the next fun exercise class, trying spin, pilates, yoga, HIIT, and more.  I had tons of studios at my disposal, and I plugged each class into my Outlook calendar at the beginning of the week so I could shape my work and social plans around them.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I moved into the suburbs with my boyfriend, where we had more room for us and his kids.  While there are many things I love about our area, access to fitness studios isn’t one of them.  I bought an elliptical from amazon and even paid someone to assemble it.  Yet here it sits…collecting dust.

About six months ago, my manager sent me to a full day Thrive Global workshop.  She was actually giving me permission to spend an entire day focused on my well-being!  At the start of the workshop, we were asked to consider our well-being in five areas: body, mind, connections, resources and purpose.  Then we were asked to determine which area we wanted to focus on.  Of course I was able to conjure up “areas of opportunity” in each well-being topic area, but I felt really down about my lack of physical activity.  So I chose to spend the day thinking about my physical well-being.

At the end of the day, each team member was tasked with picking a Microstep.  Thrive’s science-backed approach knows that someone who hasn’t exercised in six months is unlikely to start exercising an hour a day, seven days a week, from an inert state.  My Microstep was to do five minutes of exercise five days a week.

I must admit, once I started doing five minutes of exercise a day, I was pretty demoralized.  Push-ups, squats, lunges…all seemed much harder than they had before!  But it motivated me too.  I knew that I had the potential to be strong since I had been before.  I found a nearby gym that offers classes six days a week.  The classes range from cardio to toning to weight-lifting to boxing.  I signed up and I am committed to doing five hours per week.  I am working towards returning to my prior levels of strength and stamina, and I feel amazing doing it.

Sure, there are moments I have to drag myself out the door to drive to class.  But I never regret it afterwards.  And the satisfaction I get from building muscle and breaking a sweat is an incredible feeling.  I am so thankful my manager allowed me to participate in the Thrive Global workshop so I could get back to being fit and healthy!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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