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After the lockdown went into effect, the first few weeks were easy to stay motivated and into a routine. However, as the weeks went on I heard from many of you asking how I personally stay motivated, and why I find exercise to be such an important part of my life. Now that we’ve been coping with the pandemic for months and many of us are still working from home, I’m sharing my story with you.

I have always been interested in fitness. I was very active as a child, playing a sport in almost every season. Basketball, volleyball, softball, and track, basically anything that I could get involved with. Basketball was my sport, I played on three very competitive teams up until the end of my senior year of high school when I was in a car accident that ended my basketball career. I was devastated, it actually lead to almost a state of depression.

Even after being cleared to play, I did not participate in my other sports the following seasons. Then, high school ended, and it was time for me to choose what I wanted to study in college. I had a long talk with my parents, and they really helped me find the love that I had for physical activity again. I was scared and angry to try again after being injured in such an odd way to end my basketball career. By odd way, I mean it didn’t happen while playing the sport, like the typical scenario.

This was a turning point for me; that summer before college I finally started to feel like myself again. I got involved with a running group at the shore.  It felt like I was a part of a team again that I did not want to let down. Then came college where I was placed in a class with students that had the same passion for exercise as me. I was finally back into the swing of things, and exercise became an everyday activity for me inside and outside the classroom.

My first job out of college is at the same HealthEase corporate fitness center where I am currently the manager. I was terrified to meet new people and showcase my strong suits of exercise. The fitness center members made me feel so welcomed. They told me their stories and why they were so invested in exercise and remaining healthy. They are the reason why I stay motivated. I love teaching my group exercise classes and running clubs, and hearing more personal stories and why people love coming to the fitness center.

Now that we are providing our services virtually until the fitness center reopens,  I am still dedicated to helping the members stay motivated and stick to a routine with their workouts. Although we all can’t be together, it doesn’t mean we can’t stay active. Yes, things are for sure different, but I encourage everyone to do whatever they can to take care of themselves. Give yourself the credit you deserve for trying. Remember why you set your health and fitness goals. Soon, we all will be back at the fitness center, laughing and having fun while being active together!

by HealthEase fitness specialist Helene Shapley