It’s day 11 of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.

Much of the past year for me has been about making positive changes for my health. The past couple of years have been stressful, to put it lightly, with the events of the world causing anxiety, stress, and uncertainty. I try to keep putting my best foot forward, keep advocating for change, and keep doing the best I can to put good out there into the world.

I’ve been less good about taking care of myself in the interim, as I default to emotional eating and sluggishness, finding that sometimes it’s all I can do to keep going.

I was reminded of some childhood memories this year when I worked a short assignment at a Ninja-style obstacle gym. Curiosity got the best of me, and a few weeks later I went on my own time to give it a try. A few weeks after that, I started taking classes, and next thing I know, I’ve been going three times a week for the past six months now.

I’ve never been one to really enjoy going to the gym, or working out in general. I love Zumba, though, enough that after doing it for a short time I went and got trained so I could become an instructor (something I still love to do, but don’t teach regularly at the moment, favoring occasionally subbing classes instead). What obstacle training has done for me, though, is refreshed my memory of what was once my favorite childhood pastime: climbing around on jungle gyms, monkey bars, and swings.

Now, my time spent in the gym is something I look forward to. When there, I find that the events of the day melt away, if only temporarily, while I focus on how to move my body, use and build my strength, and just have fun climbing around and learning new skills. It’s been fantastic both for my physical and mental health. The movement builds energy and makes me want to move more, which is the best side-effect I could ask for. Even on days where I’m just not feeling it, I rally myself to go and give myself permission not to go all out. It’s those moments where I think I need it the most.

It’s nice to be reminded that movement, and exercise, can (and should, I think) be fun. I knew this as a child, and it’s nice to relearn this now, when I need it more than ever.