I Did Five Training Sessions With Nike Chicago And I'm More Confident Than Ever
Photos: Zoe Rain for Nike Chicago
Back in April I was invited to participate in a five-week training journey with Nike Chicago. I jumped at the opportunity because I knew that I wanted to improve myself and hopefully learn some new exercises. What I didn’t know is that I would learn to push myself even when I wanted to quit, rise earlier even though I wanted to stay in the bed and that a group of strangers would become my biggest motivators during the process.
During our first training session that Monday, I started to jot down how I felt before and after classes and I thought it was a great way to share my raw feelings, unfiltered. Let’s start from the beginning.
SESSION #1 - MONDAY, APRIL 22ND
Today we worked on agility and stability with the Chicago Red Stars. I didn't even know we had a womens soccer team. I learned today that this professional team uses the On Your Mark studio as a training hub. It's pretty lit since we're going to be here doing the exercises with them and learning the techniques. The team hung around to answer any additional questions we may have had about their training and their personal experiences being in the soccer league. Today was fun but challenging enough. At the end of the session Nike surprised us with some gear to keep us cozy.
I came in the door not knowing what to expect and if I was going to be working with a group of women who have already started their fitness journey but Emily and the ladies made me feel comfortable about where I was in my fitness journey. I left feeling extremely motivated.
SESSION #2 - MONDAY, MAY 6TH
This week was challenging. This time we stepped into something I have never done before in my enter life and that was lift weights. Emily ran through the course for the day and as she did each drill I was thinking to myself, "Absolutely not." However, when it was time to get it in, I went for it!
I started off with the bar lift and wow 35 pounds I never thought I would lift that but I was able to do the exercise. At some point during this workout I started to feel like a complete badass and really getting into it. During the week off, I started to do more running on my own and make sure that I was staying active. Is there a beast inside of me? Maybe because this was kind of fun to me. It was fun enough to the point where I wanted to do it again. Shout out to my friend Akisha we made sure to motivate each other through this one. Cubs game on Thursday and the girls are ready!
SESSION #3 - MONDAY, MAY 20TH
This week I woke up tired because I stayed up a little too late browsing Pinterest for some sort of inspiration again. As we arrived we got some new heat in our lockers that included the Nike Metcon 4 which is such a cute workout shoe. One of the girls was so excited that she put it on for training immediately. This week we combined most of the things we learned during week 1 and 2. This was a tough workout and by the second workout I knew I was going to be sore the next day.
Again, you girl doesn't lift weights and it was a ton of that, a ton of squatting too. I think the day was probably hard because I didn't get a chance to workout during the week before. Chicago weather has been tricky and I love getting outside on the trail as much as possible even if it's just to go walking. But, wow the workout was amazing and I felt good afterwards I know I went hard. It's another weird weather week in Chicago but I'm going to commit to getting out there because it'll help me prep for the next class!
SESSION #4 - MONDAY, JUNE 3RD
Leading up to this weeks workout I knew I wanted to get a few short runs in just to keep myself active because week 3 was tough af. Every part of my body was sore from that workout and this week I knew I didn't want to feel as stiff.
This week was fun, we were introduced to some new workouts that included a box jump which had me shook. I mean it's not an everyday thing where I am jumping on a box. I was a little scared at first but I was able to quickly get over my fear. Just looking at the box was intimidating but I surprisingly to myself I had good form. You go girl! The workout was fun and we even had a relay at the end which was super tough but it was so much fun. This is our second to last week and I'm going to be very sad that we only have one class left and one more week to work with Emily. She's awesome and such a damn good coach. I really enjoyed working out with her for these couple of weeks.
SESSION #5 , THE FINALE - MONDAY, JUNE 17TH
Today was our last day as a group at On Your Mark. Wow, what a journey it has been for us all and for myself personally. Today I pushed myself more that I've ever did and I'm just shocked at what I can do. I never thought of myself as an athlete or even a competitor. I just grew up riding bikes and roller skating and running occasionally but never in life did I think I could be do the things I've done with the help of Emily and my peers.
I'm going to miss these guys so much and I'm so grateful for the progress that I've made. I hope I've retained enough to remember how to get around the gym on my own and do the things that I've learned over the course of the last month. I am proud of myself for stepping out the box and best believe it, you can too.
It's easy to be afraid but harder to step out of your comfort zone and just do it, literally. My goal starting this was to become acquainted with new exercises and to try something new. It was an opportunity for me to push me in a way that I've never done. Thank you Nike Chicago for bringing us together, we've all grown over these past few weeks.
Remember that you are stronger than you think, you're an athlete.