YES, there were some good things that came from 2020. Here are our best takeaways and tips!
JENNY PIERCE / Membership Services
Big takeaway from 2020: I learned to be flexible and to be okay with things not working out the way you thought they would.
Favorite workout/activity: Anything outside! I bought a bike and went on long bike rides over the summer!
Best fitness/nutrition tip : Try to do something active everyday. I know most people are working from home, and I have found going for a walk before or after work helps keep me focused!
Favorite thing you read, watched, or listened to: I have read so much this year, but one of my favorites is The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. It is all about a young woman setting out and creating her own family from the people she surrounds herself.
Favorite thing you read, watched, listened to: While not inspirational, the most exciting thing I heard was the new Dixie Chicks (or now known as “The Chicks”) album. If you know me personally, you know I’ve been a hardcore DXC fan for decades. So, naturally, I was ecstatic when they dropped new music after a long hiatus (and even more ecstatic to report it did not disappoint)!
Best fitness/nutrition tip: Keep things simple and go back to basics. Oh, and don’t forget to eat your oats! 😉
Favorite workout/activity: I participated in the Great Cycle Challenge in August, in which I pledged to ride 300 miles that month while fundraising for childhood cancer. I crashed and burned the second week of the challenge, making biking a wee bit uncomfortable with torn knees and a battered body. I wanted to throw in the towel many times but all I kept hearing/reflecting on was, “When you feel like giving up, remember we can’t…” quoted by a boy fighting cancer at the St. Judes Marathon of 2019. I pursued and hit 301 miles (the extra 1 for good measure), which made this fitness pursuit my favorite and most memorable of 2020. This also leads me to my biggest takeaway in 2020…
Big takeaway from 2020: Life throws you curveballs, and 2020 is likely the biggest one many of us have faced. While you should allow yourself to feel all the things, don’t always let life (or a global pandemic) push you down and wreck you. Stand back up, even with scrapes and bruises, and begin the healing process by immersing yourself with self-care and support from loved ones. Eventually, those open wounds will close and turn into courageous scars.
Big takeaway from 2020: Liza Faye. It has to be. From the beginning of the pandemic with the shutdown, she gave us something to look forward to (due date!), something else to consume our thoughts and conversations. It was nice to have something to anticipate in the face of so many unknowns. By the grace of God, Liza disrupted the pain of the pandemic, racial injustice, political division, and overall brokenness. She was our hope in the first half of the year and has been our joy in the second.
Favorite workout/activity : Walking and breathing—for real. Because of some early complications with my pregnancy my doctor told me not to run while I was pregnant. So I’ve walked a lot. Now, I am physically able to workout but struggle to get into a good routine until my kid is sleeping through the night consistently. In the meantime, I’m starting slow and rebuilding from the inside out. I’m learning how important (and how much work) it is to breathe correctly and how much doing so can heal and use my core.
Best fitness/nutrition tip: Do what you can. I am a creature of habit and I thrive in a routine. But you know what’s not great for a routine? A newborn. I have to give myself grace. Doing a workout 3 days a week is better than quitting after 1 just because I missed day 2 and messed up my 6 days/week program.
Favorite thing you read, watched, listened to: I’m struggling with this one…I guess The Royal We, which I just finished, was my favorite book this year but it wasn’t anything monumental that really added to my year. I did, in the last month or so, realize that audiobooks really work for me. Specifically non-fiction stuff. I love reading fiction but have a hard time with non-fiction, self-betterment type stuff. But I have so many of those I really want to read! So I’m hoping to dive into more of those types of books via audiobook in 2021.
Big takeaway from 2020: Sometimes life makes you slow down – and that’s often a good thing. It taught me to take my time, enjoy each part of every day, and not try to always have something to do. It’s okay for me (and the child) to be bored!
Favorite workout/activity of 2020: Power walking! With the gyms closed for a while in the spring, and nothing to do – I strapped my kid in the stroller daily and walked for a few miles. I forgot how much clarity walking outside can bring- and the workout you can get is awesome. Whenever I’d ask my husband if he wanted to go on one, he’d ask “Is this a leisure walk or an exercise walk?” He’d oftentimes pass because my exercise walk is no joke!
Best fitness/nutrition tip from 2020: Motivation in your workouts will ebb and flow with the seasons of life. You’re not always fired up to workout and that’s okay. I learned to listen to my body this year- took a rest day when I felt I needed to, lighten up my workload when I wanted to, focused on body weight movements to fine tune form, and went hard when I felt like it! This helped me look forward to working out because it gave me the flexibility in my workouts to really do what my body was telling me to do- and it didn’t become a chore.
Favorite thing you read, watched, listened to: “The Crown”. I’m not a royal family history buff but dang- Prince Charles is the worst.
Big takeaway from 2020: I feel like 2020 had a few big lessons/takeaways for me. This one popped up a lot – lean on your people; you don’t have to do whatever it is all by yourself (aka it’s ok to ask for help!).
Favorite workout/activity: Daily walks have been a non-negotiable for me. Fresh air, sunshine (hopefully!), movement – so great for mind & body! In the summer, I really enjoyed doing kettlebell workouts in my backyard. Being outside more was a plus for 2020!
Best fitness/nutrition tip: Fitness: Something is better than nothing! Don’t beat yourself up because your plans didn’t work out, do what you can & move on. Nutrition: Stick with what works for you. I kept on with my Sunday meal prep despite the fact that for many months, there wasn’t really a “normal schedule”. It helped keep me eating the things that I know make me feel good.
Favorite thing you read, watched, listened to: Long Way Up – “Ewan McGregor and his friend, Charley Boorman, travel 13,000 miles around Central and South America on electric Harley Davidson motorcycles” – didn’t initially sound like something I wanted to watch, but my husband convinced me to give it a try. We loved it! It’s a cool story, the photography was amazing, and since travel is not an option right now it was a nice escape. It’s a feel good show and honestly, it makes you want to be best friends with Ewan & Charlie. They did two other shows – Long Way Down & Long Way Round and those are next on our list.
Big takeaway from 2020: I’ve had quite a few, but there’s two that stand out the most. One is hope. Why do I believe, work hard, carry on? Hope. At my very core, I am a dreamer. If I didn’t believe that dreams can actually come true or have hope for a better tomorrow, I would have nothing. And the other…my husband is everything. He keeps me going. He doesn’t let me wallow. He is not a bring home flowers, tell you what you wanna hear kinda guy…but he’s always there for the really important stuff. The hard stuff. He showed up for me over and over this year.
Favorite workout/activity: For several months my workout was simply kettlebell swings + get-ups. Why? It was simple and I knew I would do it no matter how I was feeling. I could go heavy, I could go light. They both require some skill so it helped me to refocus my thoughts and energy for a bit. Bonus: By doing that I actually did the heaviest single arm swing and get-up I’ve ever done.
Best fitness/nutrition tip: Recognize where you are and what works best for you. I am back to keeping my workout short, sweet and simple…for at least another month or so. That is what is best for my body and mind right now. As for nutrition, don’t overcomplicate it. Eat to feel good. Eat for health. Eat to nourish your body.
Favorite thing you read, watched, listened to: I read a lot of good books. I’m not sure I have a favorite, but I really liked Man’s Search For Meaning. It is a book by Viktor Frankl about his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It’s about finding a purpose in life. Finding meaning in suffering. And hope. His perspective is incredible.