Kickstarting My Fitness

by Emma Hardy 

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When I started going to Kickstart classes, I was admittedly intimidated.

I never lifted weights and had no idea how to use any machines. I was nervous that I would look silly.

Kickstart turned out to be the perfect way for me to learn more about working out and to feel better about my overall fitness.

Classes are only 30 minutes, twice a week, and are much more than just a good workout. They’re educational and helpful for me outside of class as well. The things I learn in class are skills I can take home and use when I’m working out on my own.

While Kickstart is a group class, it also is small enough to get individual attention. If I have any questions about new movements (which I often do!), I’m able to get help and further instruction before trying it. As a result, I feel much more informed and confident during class.

“But I’m not a ‘gym person’”

This was a quote I used a lot before starting at CSC. As someone who loves the outdoors, I always used the excuse that I wasn’t “a gym person” to avoid working out.

To me, gyms always seemed cold and uninviting — I never knew how to work any machines or what weights to lift, and felt very insecure and intimidated. I usually stuck to the treadmill or elliptical (I figured it was hard to mess those up!) but felt that was a waste of time when I would be much happier just walking outside in nature.

This quickly became an issue in the cold Missouri winters, or when I just got tired of my usual outdoor activities. I felt that I could be more fit and better enjoy outdoor activities, like longer hikes or backpacking, if I just knew how to work out consistently at home.

CSC is a completely different experience from other gyms I have tried. CSC is welcoming, positive, personable, and accommodating to people of all fitness levels. It’s fun to come in and chat with other people in the class, and it’s encouraging to have others who are working on their fitness alongside you.

Since joining the Kickstart class, I have learned a wide range of motions, stretches, and exercises that make me much more confident about working out. I actually know what weights work for me and what I can do to work parts of my body that don’t always get enough exercise. I feel excited that I am consistently working out and learning more about how to stay fit.

A small change

I feel so much better about my fitness, and I really didn’t have to sacrifice my usual routine to get here. In total, Kickstart is only one hour each week — it was a small change to my schedule. But that hour has definitely made a difference.

I have found that I can combine my love for the outdoors with working out in a gym. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I go to Kickstart. On Wednesdays and some other weekdays, I volunteer walking dogs around campus. On the weekends, I try to get outdoors to hike, swim, or walk with my friends. In the coming months, I am planning to do some hikes out in Colorado or Montana, and I feel confident and excited to prepare for them.

By going to Kickstart and supplementing it with the activities I already know and love, I feel confident in my routine and am eager to continue improving.

It’s called “Kickstart” for a reason — if you are worried about your lack of knowledge when it comes to working out, this class is the perfect way to start.