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    Fitness Motivation • I Feel Empowered

    by Monika Dauterive
    People and Culture Manager, HR at Runtastic
    I have always had a complicated relationship with sports. There have been times when I was truly athletic, and times when I did not move at all. Times when I enjoyed physical activity, and times when I had to force myself to even go for a walk. There have even been times when I was passionate about team sports, and others when I preferred to train alone. But exercise has always been part of my life – whether as a friend or foe. 
    In 2017, my fitness motivation hit rock bottom after I tore my ACL or anterior cruciate ligament. Within only a few months I had put on quite some weight, but also got out of shape at a level I had never experienced before. And while I had finally started appreciating and loving my body, I felt anything but fit.

    How I Stayed Motivated
    After a six-month break from any kind of exercise, I started running again in January 2018. At a pace of 8:00 min/km I was able to do about two to three kilometers before I had to call it quits. 
    I wanted to have an average of three fitness activities every week, so I started the body transformation plan in our adidas Training app. I was probably training at the lowest level possible, and I was satisfied if I finished two workouts per week. In other words: it took me about 20 weeks to finish a 12-week training plan.
    I am my harshest critic, which is why I turned to my social network to boost my confidence. Every time I posted a run or a workout in my news feed, I received positive feedback from my friends; every time I had a low, somebody would take the time to encourage me to keep going. Every time I joined a group workout or run, the high fives at the end made me feel proud of not giving up and boosted my fitness motivation.

    “I am my harshest critic.”

    Reclaiming my Body 
    Eight months into my new exercise routine, my life turned upside down when my husband and I decided to split up. For six months my work-life-routine was anything but balanced, I barely slept. Instead I went out partying, and my diet was… well…non-existent. I consequently lost weight rather quickly (not sustainably though), and my running pace was crazy (for my standards). But I felt weak, tired… and not as voluptuous as I had in curvier days. 
    As a result, I rediscovered my fitness motivation and started working out again and immediately noticed how my arms started to feel firmer, my butt fuller, my thighs stronger, my waist narrower. I increased my workouts to three to four times per week; sometimes I even went for a run and did strength training on the same day. For me, this was (and still is) huge. Seeing the fruits of my labor was really rewarding.

    I love how I feel 
    Even though I re-gained weight in the following months (as I started to eat again, or rather indulge in too many sweets), I felt like a total bombshell. And I still do. My scale and I have agreed that we would keep our relationship distant but friendly, and I do not freak out over minor weight changes. Usually when I look into the mirror or at pictures of myself, I like what I see.
    I am not generally lazy, yet I am easily tempted to just skip a few days of workouts. The longer the break is, the harder it gets to bounce back and muster up my fitness motivation. I sometimes feel frustrated when I run slower than the week before or when I can’t do as many push-ups as I thought I could. 

    “It’s frustrating to lose muscle much faster than I built it; this is what keeps me going.” 

    Finally I have reached a stage where my body can regain muscle much faster after a break, and where I actually miss working out after a day or two. I love sucking in fresh air during a run along the lake, and I love dripping with sweat after a round of burpees (much more than I love burpees, I might add). I love that I can still easily lift my kids and that I can walk for hours without feeling tired. I love that I feel empowered, healthy and happy with my body.  
    About Monika 

    Monika Dauterive is a vital part of the Runtastic HR team and a strong ambassador of our company values. As a mother of two, she tries to be a role model for her kids by teaching them to be content and not take oneself too seriously.
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