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We are thrilled to introduce Kate Beland as a contributor to the Cybex Blog. Kate has worn many hats in her life, all of which have been related to her love of sport and competition. This includes being a self-described "washed up" NCAA scholarship athlete, former assistant college coach, certified personal trainer, Physical Education Teacher and coach to many youth sports. She currently manages a full amenity Health Club and is a running coach.
Someone, somewhere, said that we should do something that makes us feel uncomfortable every day. Do something that makes us nervous. Get outside of our comfort zone.
What if that uncomfortable thing meant committing a year of your life to it? Getting up at 5:00 a.m. everyday? Saying no to that second drink...(okay, sometimes more like third drink)? Being so tired you crawl into bed right after you’ve put your children to bed, or even right after work? Would you still do it? I did. What was the “thing” for me? Let me tell you.
When it comes to running, it's not the commitment that makes me nervous. I already feel like I’m married to running. For me, the thing that made me uncomfortable was putting that commitment to the test and signing up for a race. That, to me, was completely nerve-wracking.
There is something about clicking that registration button when I sign up for a race that sets it in stone. I have to train, which means getting in four different types of runs of varying mileage each week: hills, intervals, pace practice and long runs. I also need to devote two days a week for strength training: one day by myself with a lot of free weights and walking lunges, and the other day, a full body H.I.I.T style circuit usually in a small group. It also means no more flying, or rather running, by the seat of my pants doing whatever I feel like that day. I'm committed. I have to show up: on the roads and in the weight room.
Once I have made that race commitment and the training begins, that's it. I am all in, and it's all I think about. However, even with all of my preparation for a race, when I toe up at the start just before the gun goes off, I feel like I'm going to lose my stomach. I have to talk myself down..."You've done the mileage. You've done the work. You're ready for this. You are strong." That self-doubt will creep in every time.
At some point during the race, when my tank is on empty, I think "Why do I do this? I hate running! Please don't vomit! My legs can’t move any faster!" But then, I see the light, or in some cases, quite literally, the finish line, and I remember why I started this to begin with.
I thrive on testing myself mentally and physically. And so, I somehow pull it together to toughen up, pick it up and push through the pain, knowing it's about to end. I cross the finish line and with time, the pain does subside. I am left with that kick ass feeling of accomplishing what felt like the impossible. And soon, I forget the pain, all the hours in the weight room and the many miles on the road. I am filled with joy and accomplishment, which is great, because soon I will be baited by the next uncomfortable moment and the love affair will continue.
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