Growing up I wasn’t ever considered to be the ‘sporty kid’ -although I did dance outside of school during my ‘Musical Theatre years’- and the thought of going to the gym had always intimidated me. From the perspective of someone who A. does not react very well to making mistakes and B. spent most of her life caring what other people thought, I was often too scared to branch outside of my comfort zone because I didn’t want to make a ‘fool out of myself’. I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and the only image that I had of P.E was two very real scenarios that I encountered during my time in secondary school. The first was being one of the ‘so called non-popular losers’ who was almost always left to last when we were ‘asked to choose our partners’ which made me swallow my humiliation with bitterness and the second bunking P.E lessons, because I hated being singled out. So I haven’t exactly had the best relationship with fitness but outside of school, it was a different story. I was part of a stage school where I would sing, act and dance until I was 17 years old, and we covered genres like ‘freestyle’ , ‘pop’, contemporary and musical theatre, although I always yearned to try the more up-tempo dances like ‘street’, ‘hip-hop’, salsa and ‘dance or house/EDM which was reflective of my taste in music. When I was at university I did Zumba which was a lot of fun but then after university, I stopped all ‘fitness activity’ as it came to a halt. And while I dabbled in a few fitness sessions over the years, I never found something that I could commit to. Which is where ESquared comes in…
For someone like me who is always on the go, you could be forgiven for thinking that I am ‘very active’, but I wouldn’t count dancing in the clubs/my room or running for the train as an ‘acceptable form of fitness’. So while I would feel guilty that I wasn’t more ‘fit and healthy’ I blamed having such a ‘busy life’ on being able to commit to fitness sessions or the fact that I was in debt which limited me from ‘what I could and couldn’t do’. But in reality it ran far deeper than just ‘financial debt’ and busy work-life, because when we truly want to do something, we put the time and effort in to ensure that we do our best to ‘achieve our goals’. The main issue when it come to fitness was the ‘fear’ which stemmed from all the bullying that I had as a child and teen, and remembering the humiliation I felt as time and time again, no one would want to be my partner and I had no idea why. So while I had the ‘fitness qualities’ so to speak i.e. I was a quick runner, was flexible and could dance, I didn’t have many friends during secondary school and that had an impact on the activities I did and didn’t do. Of course when I went to university, people cared less about what I looked like or ‘how quirky was’ and I didn’t have the same issue. Nevertheless the childhood issue was still there and meant that I hated to go to ‘places on my own’ as I didn’t want people to think I was ‘lonely’.
And it was the same with ‘blogging’ as well, at first going to blogging events would fill with me the same anxiety of not belonging, sticking out like a sore thumb and having people whisper behind my back. But as I immersed myself into the blogging world, I found that people began to accept me for who I was and it was a surprise that I was welcomed with open arms. I started stepping outside of my comfort zone and would sign myself up for activities that I might not necessarily like but would challenge the fear that I had been holding onto. Little by little it dissipated and now I am a completely different person to the awkward girl of 14 who was always afraid of what people might think about her. I relish reveling in the new and 2018 became my year of ‘new endless possibilities’. I co-founded an events company, I learned how to say NO and most of all I plunged into the fitness world once more, thanks to Esquared. Described as an app and platform that provides ‘Fitness on Demand’ they challenged me to join the E2 Revolution and begin my fitness on a flexible, week by week basis, without the pressure of paying upfront for a gym membership.
With a range of classes covering yoga, pilates, zumba, martial arts and dance, among other classes the concept behind ‘Esquared’ is that A. Fitness should be open to all regardless of whether you are a beginner or intermediate and B. is the only place where you can find classes in real time, just at the click of a button. So even if you decide out of the blue that you would like to do a ‘Salsa Fusion’ class in two hours time, if there is availability for the class then by all means you can pay for the class you are interested in and experience your ‘class’ in real-time. While I love ‘dance classes’ I decided to try something new, that while would ‘motivate me to become’ more active, at the same time would not be as hard-core as a dance class, especially since I was a ‘beginner’. And who better to challenge my fear of fitness than Carolina from ‘Blogger On Pole’, who after meeting at LondonBloggingEvents- which I had co-founded- we had become fast friends. An inspirational young woman, with a chequered past, she had spoke to me about how she had used fitness to ‘re-claim her body’ and how classes like ‘Twerk’ and ‘Pole’ had helped her feel more comfortable in her own skin.
Naturally, having come from similar backgrounds, I was so inspired by how she had stated that ‘fitness’ is a powerful tool for women and men who have been abused, vilified or harassed and was interested to see whether E-Squared would help boost my own self-confidence. We had opted to try ‘hot yoga’ which Carolina mentioned was a popular class in the US, although by the end of it we would be ‘sweating buckets’ which didn’t seem like too attractive a prospect to me but nevertheless I ensured I was open minded and went into class at KXU Kensignton (West London) with an open heart. The class itself was ‘fast-paced’ with positions like the downward dog being inter-mixed with half-handstands and flowing vinyasa style practice, which were similar to a dance, linking one pose to the next. Spread out over the course of an hour, the class led by Cally was well taught and the instructor herself ensured that we were all in the right positions, especially for newbies like myself who didn’t have a clue what they were doing. And the heat wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, although halfway through the hot yoga my joints were sore and I felt light headed, but we were assured that this was a normal after-effect of the hot yoga class.
For the next couple of days after the event I was extremely ‘sore and stiff’ although this was due to not having used the muscles we had used during hot yoga for a very long time. I believe that with regular exercise this ‘soreness’ will dissipate and it certainly hasn’t put me off attending other classes, if anything it made me want to get back into ‘dance again’ and is a class that would definitely be ‘right up my street’ as opposed to hot yoga. Nevertheless I wanted to try something new and Hot Yoga became a great class proponent for allowing me to be more adventurous with my ‘fitness sessions’. Hot Yoga taught me that I need to focus on improving my core strength and need to do regular exercises to improve my flexibility, which I admit is nowhere near as good as my ‘dancer days’. As I mentioned my friend is a pole dancer and pole dancing is a class that I have always wanted to try, so this is a class that I will be trying in the future, but for now, the next class we will be taking together is either Zumba or Salsa fusion, as we both have dance backgrounds.
Overall getting back into fitness with Esquared has not only taught me what I actually want from a fitness routine, but improved my state of mind, helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin and most of all challenged my ‘fear from childhood’. Even when I was messing up steps in the Hot Yoga routine noone cared or noticed and I found I was not bothered about making mistakes as I once was, which was a huge step in the right direction for me. And in some cases people will talk, people will whisper and say bad things behind your back but pay them no mind because remember what goes around comes around. Good karma will always outweigh the actions of a bad person and as humans we are not perfect. Even the ‘overachiever’ who gets top grades is not perfect, so remember that in regards to fitness you don’t have to be at a certain level to ‘become more active’ nor do you have to be particularly very good. Like I said I am not the most ‘sportiest or active’ person but taking classes not only showed me how ‘unfit’ I am but it also changed me in a positive way as it gave me more motivation to start being more conscious about my fitness, and the steps I needed to take to combat the state of my physical health.
Download Equared Today: Available Via Android & Google Play
Have You Ever Tried A Fitness App Before? What Is Your Attitude Towards Fitness?
Please note this is a collaborative post with ESquared but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.