Real Talk: Fitness

Real talk, working out is hard. As someone who was a professional athlete for the last decade, I can comfortably say that I’m not in love with going to the gym. I am definitely not one of those super fun, spunky girls who just LOVES to throw her hair up into a messy bun and go to barre every Tuesday, followed by pilates with the girls on Wednesday. Nope, that’s not me at all. I don’t love the process, I worked incredibly hard every single day of my life for at least the last two decades and I feel burned out. That being said, I also want to have the body I had while I was competitively skating, without having to put in that level of work. This is where my big problem presents itself. How can I give myself that same level of tone and fitness without having to put in grueling hours of hard work every single day while preferably not leaving my house?

My relationship with fitness has changed dramatically over the last year. While I was skating, I trained six days a week, taking two weeks off at the end of my season before ramping back into my training again. My job required me to be in peak condition essentially 11 months out of the year. When I took a step back from the ice, I found myself feeling so disconnected with my body. I had no desire or drive to be active, I was burned out. I never felt at home in the gym, I’m no longer naturally drawn to the idea of pushing my body past its limits. As more time passed by though, I started to feel like a stranger in my own body. Obviously I will never have the exact body that I once had as a competitive athlete, but a new sense of discomfort was creeping in and I felt like it was time to act on it. I took charge of my fitness and was set on finding a way to relate to my health and wellness in a way that was positive and functional, rather than the extreme ways I approached it all as a figure skater.

As someone who’s search history includes multiple variations of “at home workout”, it was clearly important for me to find a fitness routine that felt accessible at all times. I travel a lot and I don’t feel incredibly comfortable in gyms. I also like to be guided through workouts, I think I can definitely credit that to my 23 years of being coached directly, so I want to be able to follow along with something. I was searching through the rabbit hole of youtube when I came across a POPSUGAR Fitness video starring Victoria’s Secret model trainer Stephen Pasterino, which obviously I clicked on. Even if the majority of those women have legs longer than my actual height, I will do anything in my power to get the toned butt of one of those girls so that I can strut, strut, pose in all of my glory. Shameless truth but here we are. I loved the video, and immediately launched a deep dive into Stephen and his training method called P.Volve. Read on for the deets.

I was hooked on this video. It felt really simple, the movements were easy to follow along with, but I started to feel that BURN, you know that feeling when your muscles start screaming out and you silently roll your eyes at yourself bc there is no way they should be feeling this strained on an exercise this simple? Yep, that was me and I realized I LOVED that feeling all over again. I felt like I was waking up muscles that I had used on the ice, but in a completely new form of movement and training. It felt fresh, but accomplished the same goal that I set out with. I have the hips of an old dog, and all of the actions within the program are so focused on perfect technique instead of just high weight or reps, so I felt like I finally found something that was going to protect my body without playing it safe or going easy. Focussing on small movements that are precise and low impact, my mind has something to concentrate on other than the clock.

Lastly, if I can’t bring my fitness routine on the road with me, the chances of me actually getting a workout in are SLIM. Let’s be real, if I have to leave my house right now the chances of me getting anything done are also slim. If I can throw on a resistance band and follow along with a video, I am so down to do whatever. I used to feel kind like working out at home was cheating, but I now realize that you have to accept what works best for you and just rock it. So basically long story short, wherever I am right now, I’m probably doing some P.Volve squats with my resistance bands, because fitness might never be fun, but it can be accessible.

Ashley Wagner