Food & Fitness

That “Aha!” Moment

I’m in love I’m in love I’m in love!

(with boot camp).

Today I was a minute or two late to my boot camp and the others had already started the warm-up jog. As I lugged my 8-lbs weights, yoga mat and water bottle across the field, I half expected the trainer to blow her whistle and bark out, “Drop and give me 20 for being late!” Instead, as she led the group jogging past me, she greeted me with a cheerful, “Hi, Sagan!”. Phwew.

Our trainer Sara is pretty awesome (total girl crush!) because she pushes us without acting like a drill sargeant. She only blew on her whistle once to gather us together after the warm-up jog and at varying intervals she’d instruct us to drink water. At the end of todays session, she led us through a series of stretches and explained which muscles we were working and why they’re good for people with desk jobs and such. Then she told us all that she expects us to eat breakfast if we don’t already and to make sure we try and eat something both before and after each boot camp class.

Today we did tons of squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, walking lunges, shoulder presses, bicep curls, man-makers, and crunches (to name a few). I know that I could do it all on my own if I wanted to, but it is so much fun to be there with other people; all of us cheering each other on and jokingly competing with each other. Everyone is much more talkative and outgoing than in my bellydancing class so the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. And there’s something really good about having an instructor calling out, “come on, hurry back now!” and hearing my teammates saying “great work!” at the end of the man-makers: just hearing that made me sprint to the finish, which I know that I would not have done if I’d been doing the exercise on my own.

In an effort to get away from my usual staples (apples, carrots, and eggs), I tried a few of your suggestions. So today I have no carrots or apples in my lunch! And I didn’t have eggs today or yesterday (yet, anyways). I did have all-natural peanut butter today (something else which I really need to vary up), but I had it on a banana and I haven’t had a banana in a while. I’ve also eaten some Laughing Cow light cheese which I never eat (I think that it’s just cheese without a bunch of bad processed junk… does anyone know if it’s natural?), an orange, and I bought myself a half of a cantaloupe! I haven’t had cantaloupe in a long time. I’m glad I found it (they’ve also got the half pineapples and half watermelons so I imagine I’ll be purchasing those sometime soon). I kind of like the idea of sticking my fork inside half a cantaloupe. It’s like eating from a tub of ice cream but without the guilt!

And now I have a question for all of you, brought on after reading Kelly’s post about what constitutes disordered eating. It got me thinking about definitions, particularly in regards to fitness. At what point does one become an athlete? What defines a person as being athletic or active? When I first signed up for boot camp, we had to state how fit we thought we were between 0 and 5 (with 5 being in excellent condition). I gave myself a 3. The organizer that I was working with asked me why I gave myself a 3, if I’m already walking every day and taking bellydancing and running and doing my own strength training. I explained that I think that there’s lots of room for improvement and I’m not nearly as strong or as fast as I’d like to be.

I don’t think I’d call myself an athlete. Even the word “athletic” doesn’t quite fit. Similarly, I wouldn’t describe myself as a runner, and yet I’m trying to train up for the half marathon, so it seems kind of funny to not think of myself as being a runner. I can’t seem to determine when it is that I’ve done enough to describe myself as such. What do you think? Was there a particular moment for you that you realized that you are ______ (fill it in with whatever you feel defines you- an athlete, a teacher, a mother etc)? It’s not so easy to define ourselves as such… we live in a very grey world! But maybe the lack of black and white teaches us to not go to extremes and to try to live in moderation, with everything.


  1. geekgirl

    I know what you mean about defining yourself as an athlete. I’m the jock of my group of friends, and a lot of times folks look to me for fitness & nutrition advice, but when I think of myself I see so much room for improvement. I’m still very proud of my accomplishments, but I don’t think of myself as a full-on athlete.

  2. Running Knitter

    First, let me say that I’m so happy for you and your new love of boot camp!!!

    I do see myself as an athlete, and I think for me, the turning point came when I caught the running bug, and started going to boot camp. At this point, I feel like I just wouldn’t be myself without running and working out…so in my mind that means I’m an athlete! 🙂

  3. Charlotte

    Interesting question. I guess I always figured an athlete was someone who got paid to do it. Although now I’m thinking my definition might be too narrow.

    Yay for bootcamp!!

  4. MizFit

    Ive always thought it was when you OWNED it.

    When you deemed yourself thus.

    kinda like my other gig (writing).

    it took me AGES to be able to say, when people asked what I did, that I was a writer.

    I used to hem and haw and blather and ramble until I finally wrapped up with IM KIND OF A WRITER SORT OF.

    and then one day I was too tired to yammer and simply said IM A WRITER.

    and no lightening blot came down from the heavens accompanied by a voice yelling:


    it’s the same IMO with regards to being an athlete.

    a mindset.
    a way you carry yourself when you’re NOT exercising.
    a feeling of comfort in your body because you adore what it can do for you.


    Ive gone on too long..



  5. Sagan Morrow

    GeekGirl- I feel the same way!

    Running Knitter- do you think that the passion and dedication is the key to what constitutes an athlete, then? Thats an interesting idea.

    Charlotte- exactly! And yet there’s lots of people who voluntarily regularly compete without receiving any kind of payment or sponsorship.

    MizFit- I like your thoughts on this! For me, I’ve always called myself a writer, since I was about 5 years old. It was just something I did so I called myself as such (still waiting for that lightning bolt…). Having the mindset is probably a really good way to put it.

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