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  • Writer's pictureMacy Cooper

Getting back into it (and a life update!)

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Like many, if not all, people have experienced, I have recently found myself in a bit of a rut with my workout regiment. I had been lacking motivation and making excuses for not prioritizing my health and fitness. Seasons of change, in particular, can provide new challenges in many areas of our lives. In this post, I will share my recent story in my transition period, a few life updates, and finally, 5 tips to help you get back in the groove AND STAY THERE!

For me, shortly after passing the NCLEX (that’s right, I’m officially an RN!!!!!), the stress and chaos were silenced for a matter of minutes before life picked back up. As I attempted to calm my mind from its academic pressures, I continued working my job in research at Purdue while I tied up my loose ends in West Lafayette. As I closed this chapter of my life, I packed up my apartment, moved everything to my parents, and said goodbye to the place I had called home for the past 4 years.

After these couple of weeks flew by, I went on my family’s annual fishing trip to Canada. Yup. Fishing trip, haha. During this trip, my family and I travel to Northern Ontario, Canada (14ish hours in the car had my hip pretty grumpy), staying in cabins away from civilization, and enjoyed our time together. I call this a trip because it is a lot of work. We fillet the fish we catch, cook, eat, cleanup, and repeat. Indeed the trip can be exhausting, but it is incredibly fun!

Before this trip, I had only worked out once a week if I was lucky with the move and work. Now I know what you’re thinking... “That’s not like her to make excuses.” You are completely right! It is not like me at all! My body was craving activity and moving. My hip ached as a cry for attention and yet I continued to tell myself:

  • I’m tired

  • I have to pack

  • It’s too late

  • I can’t get to a gym

I just passed my boards, and I want to relax

Before I know it, I am packing up a U-Haul and headed for my new home in Rochester, MN. The moving process is one of the most stressful things I have experienced, and the truth is, there is no valid reason why. You throw your stuff in boxes, load them up and then undo this at a new location, but my anxiety had me much more on edge and stress than this seemingly simple process would have you think. Talk about an eventful few weeks; turned month turned 2 months!!!!!!!!!

Fast forward to now, and I am FINALLY feeling settled in my apartment as well as in my job. I am working on a post-trauma ortho/neuro unit with Mayo Clinic. As my orientation comes to a close, I am thankful for everything I have been able to learn through the process.

As I enter this very new phase of my life I am faced with challenges related to moving to a new city, adjusting to my role as a nurse in the healthcare system, coping with the emotional and physical demands of my job, finding balance in my relationships outside of work, and prioritizing my own wellbeing. I will not sugar coat this at all, it has been much harder than I had anticipated in ways I had not expected, but there are other aspects of the transition that have gone smoother than expected.

The truth is, there were very few instances justified to not get a workout in. I am very aware of my capabilities to get a short move on without equipment or leaving my home, but I just didn’t make it happen. But why?

Many of you may have found yourself in a similar situation. You had a routine, achieved a long-standing goal, life changed, and you lose sight of previous habits. The spiral out of these healthy habits that we have formed, no matter how passionate we are about them, is much more rapid than it is to get back into these cycles. Being tired should never be an excuse, I will admit, but when we are faced with exhaustion in multifaceted forms, it becomes reality. I was being lazy and didn’t prioritize my workouts.

It was and still is very challenging for me to not be angry with myself, but I also wanted to remind myself that seasons of change make us stronger in more ways than just physically. Being understanding is important, listening to your body is essential, but knowing what you’re capable of will set you up for success and drive you forward through it all.

I want to take the time to acknowledge that change is not only hard but it can be debilitating to even the most regimented and dedicated of people! We have to appreciate where we are in our season of change instead of being super hard on ourselves. For example, if I had continued to be super hard on myself, there is a high probability I would continue to tear myself down and take a long stop at body shaming myself before starting the long journey to motivation town. In all reality I have just got my gym membership outside of my apartment complex with a full set up and its month 3, so if I had kept pulling myself down a few months ago, it would have been a much longer time before I got my motivation high enough and insecurities low enough to step foot in a gym.

The reality is it’s very frightening to be new and feeling lost or out of place before you find your comfort zone.

Alright here are some tips!

5 tips to getting back into a workout regime:

  1. Ease back into it! Starting too hard too fast will overwhelm the body and can perpetuate burnout.

  2. Do not go back to the same weight/pace (for you runners) as you had been previously. Just do a fun workout to not only remind you why you love it but to see where you are! This is not to say don’t push yourself, but know your healthy limit.

  3. Put on your favorite workout outfit, sports bra, fun socks, whatever makes you feel the most confident when you walk into the gym or makes you feel like you could conquer anything.

  4. Start today. There is always a tomorrow or “I’ll start Monday,” but the reality is, today is always the perfect time to do something good for ourselves, so why wait? So maybe the reality is you only have 5 minutes now and maybe 10 minutes later. Set the timer and MOVE! Stretch, run around the block, go up and down your stairs until that timer goes off.

  5. Be humbled by your room for growth and remind yourself that you are capable of soaring on your journey. The process is not always linear. Sometimes you may feel you are getting worse or falling off the wagon, but the important part is to keep going.

For me, I have been easing back in by telling myself I have to move out of my usual for 20-30 minutes at least for 3 days out of the week. While working night shifts this can be particularly difficult, but somedays this is a walk while on the phone with family or something simple to get my body active. Is this the same level as my previous regimen? No!

And that’s ok! We can get back our motivation one step, work out, rep, and challenge at a time. Every time you get back in your car after going to the gym, or sip on your protein shake afterward, no matter how that work out was, remind yourself that you did it in spite of adversity and tell yourself you’re going to do it again.

Shameless apartment tour coming up!

Since moving to Minnesota, I have settled into my new apartment as well as my job as an RN working in orthopedics and neurology. I care for patients with a wide variety of medical conditions, rare diseases, and groundbreaking discovers, but the truth is all these patients are as beautiful and resilient as those recovering from spine surgery, a well-understood disease process, or someone struggling with addiction. My experiences thus far have taught me to advocate for not only my patients but for myself. I am thankful for the autonomy I have as a nurse, as well as the support all around. My life is unpredictable at best, but I love Minnesota more than I had expected (we will see if I feel the same in February). I am blessed with amazing coworkers and opportunities to learn so much from some of the most amazing minds in medicine and with the resources provided by Mayo Clinic.

I have welcomed my new kitty (Bill) into my fur family,

officially made my first adult purchase on a car (had to get that 4wheel drive if

you know what I’m sayin), and the truth is it has NOT been easy. There are many parts of the transition that was easier than expected but there have been many curveballs. I took a little hiatus from social media (which has been so good for me) and I’m trying to still find what works best for me. I know that I have to spend time taking care of myself and it’s a process. It is not peaches and butterflies but it’s also not ugly crying in my car after work every shift. I love to spend time with my cats (call me a crazy cat lady I don’t care look how cute!!!!!!), I like to limit stimulation from my phone, and I have to be understanding with my feelings and why they are there day to day.

If you are working through a transition and have found yourself in a rut, try something new but also take some time to identify your emotions.

What are your feelings?

Why do you feel this way?

What do you need?

How can you best take care of yourself?

If you know how to change, why not start?

If you had the cure for cancer, would you wait for Monday to share it with the world?

You are beautiful, and you can do it! Get moving today (even if it’s for 5 minutes) and being yourself unapologetically.

Stay beautiful, and stay strong!


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