When I was young I was never fond of exercising. I had always been unfit, underweight and unhealthy. PE was my most hated subject in school. My parents tried to enroll me into dance, swim, and self-defense at some stage; but I was clumsy and stiff, always bumping into things, hurting myself, and getting into trouble. At an early age, I stopped believing in taking risks, and felt taking the safe route was always best. I started avoiding exercise at all costs.
Seven years ago I was blessed with twins. I also already had an almost 2-year-old toddler to look after. I felt I was physically deteriorating. My stamina was low; I continuously had wrist pains and severe back pain to a point where I had to crawl on my hands and knees to move around. I went to see Physiotherapists and was upset with them when they recommended gentle exercises… I was in much pain, exercising would be the last thing I wanted to do!
As my three boys grow up and demanded more physical activities, I enrolled them to various sports and encourage them to be active outdoors… but I couldn’t help noticing that they start picking up my attitude in relation to exercising. If I wanted my children to not be like me then, I knew I had to change.
Going to a gym or a class just seems too intimidating for me. I have found that following gentle stretching online felt safe. I did just that. I didn’t want to “get hurt”.
From these gentle stretches, I came across POP Pilates and surprised myself that I enjoyed it. Not just my back pain went away slowly , but I felt much stronger, no longer have the need for back massages, I started eating healthier too!
So at the age of 38, I began to believe that even I could do things that I thought my body couldn’t do – because of my lack of flexibility and strength. I start achieving goals that I’ve set for myself and am extremely encouraged with the community I’ve found on Instagram.
Now exercising has not only become part of my daily schedule, but it slowly become part of my family lifestyle. My boys enjoy doing stretches with me, had a go at trying headstands, even my husband would sneak in a stretch or two when he thinks no one is looking!
My body is achieving things I never imagined I could do. I am doing pilates, weights, and participating in daily IG challenges. I have grown in confidence and energy to be able to be with my family outside running, mountain biking, and body boarding.
Now I truly believe that anything is possible, and it is never too late to start something new.
by Marina Arifin