My journey towards Flit Fitness didn't have the nicest of beginnings but let me tell you about my journey.
My journey started 3 years ago at a very low time for me. For most of my adult life, I have suffered with mental health problems in some way. I have been depressed, suffered with anxiety issues and panic attacks which can at times be very debilitating. I often found that my episodes are not triggered by anything specifically that I could then subsequently try to avoid in my day to day life. Often, I can go to bed perfectly at ease with the world to then wake up in full-blown fight or flight mode and find myself overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks.
I am also a high-functioning anxiety sufferer. My external demeanour and my ability to carry on with multiple tasks and external stresses often means people are very surprised when I tell them that I often have panic attacks and bouts of anxiety. But this ability to carry on regardless is my way of coping and trying to manage.
Like I mentioned in our '10 questions' blog post, one of my biggest fears is being out of control and this links in here. I have to be busy and I don't crumble easily under external pressures from places like work for example because I can control how I react and what I do in these situations. I don't feel like I have control over my own head. My mind often is uncontrollable. I have put myself into incredibly low states just by being left alone, not busy, and my mind running out of control. And this is where I found myself 3 years ago.
I was on anti depressants and had tried many things to try and calm myself and my mind. I tried drawing and painting as I used to do for hours as a child. I could keep going for 5 minutes. I tried getting into a book, I used to be able to get through 2 or 3 books a week. I barely got past the first few chapters.
And things like this still make me very sad. A lot of my previous hobbies and interests I cannot do anymore. My brain has wired itself differently from before and I find it difficult to focus and shut out the endless mind ramblings.
I tried yoga and meditation many times. I just can't do it. Trying to create calm and quiet when I was in this low episode was doing the exact opposite of helping me; it was making it worse.
So I decided to join a local gym and try a few different classes to see if it helped. I started doing circuits classes which I loved and I finally found something that made me feel better for a while. Having to force my brain to focus on an activity or risk physically hurting myself worked; my mind couldn't ramble off, it had to focus on the task at hand and this reset my mind. It reset the clock and allowed me time to actually relax for a while.
I realised then that exercise and sports really were the way forward for me. I have always been sporty. I was in the school netball team, I loved swimming and rounders at school. I loved to dance and took performing arts as my A Level alternative qualification. I have done 5k runs, 10k runs and triathlons. I have cycled from Cardiff to Swansea overnight! But I never considered it as a career. But maybe this was what I was meant to be doing all along.
So I earned my Level 2 gym instructor qualified and I was ready to start my journey as a gym instructor. And then I discovered dance fitness. And a whole new passion began!
Stay tuned for the next part!