Hi! My name is Jillian. I am a Student Occupational Therapy Assistant at Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio. The everyday activity or occupation I will be talking about is working out. Working out is an activity that can be done in numerous ways in many different terms. Personally, I work out alone five times a week and sometimes with my boyfriend a couple times a month. However, this activity is done in groups as well as virtually.
This obsession with working out started out way back when I was young. I started competing in sports at a very young age and throughout time, I grew in love with being physically active. I really enjoyed every aspect of the games. Once I got older, I started to realize the impact of being physically active had on my body. I was toned and muscular, and at that moment, I felt happy and proud. Once high school came upon, I noticed it was harder to keep that body because of the increased amount of school work despite playing 3 sports. I knew at that time I had to figure out another method to keep myself active and maintain my shape. When I first started going to the gym, I started simple and kept it light because I wasn’t sure how to do much, but with time and practice, I gained more experience and confidence. To this date, I will never forget that memory because without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Working out is meaningful to me because it is something I can control. It is the time of the day throughout the week I set aside for myself to work on what I want to do. I listen to the music that pumps me up and makes me want to dance like nobody’s watching. It brings out the competitive side in me that I will never lose. To others, it may look like lifting heavy weights and resting, but it is not. During this time, I develop the body to brain to muscle connection in order to activate and focus on the certain muscle I want to do the work and achieve its job. It is fighting to do one more rep even though my arm is shaking and sweat is dripping down my face. It is watching yourself amazingly transform. For me, it’s more than self care or a couple hours at the gym. It’s hard work paying off, it’s taking control of my actions and challenging myself, it’s a lifestyle. It is a mindset I have engaged myself in because I have found it to be enjoyable and something to look forward to. My mind has altered its priorities such as putting going to the gym towards the top instead of watching tv before I go to bed. I design my weeks to go around my time at the gym instead of trying to find time for the gym.
I workout wherever I can and that, to me, is what is so beautiful and awesome about working out and exercising. It can almost be done at any place you can think of. I workout at my gym, in my basement, outside in my backyard and at the local track and park. I choose these areas because I feel the most comfortable in them, they are convenient at any time of the day and they have the necessities I need to get the job done.
At these locations, I use whatever is available for me. For example, at home, as you see behind me, I utilize dumbbells, a barbell and bands as well as a TV for following videos or listening to music. What I commonly use however is my own body weight. One of my favorite things about working out is this: I could have all of the best equipment in the world, but it wouldn’t matter because all you need are some basic skills and you are set. Those basic skills start off with using my body weight as a form of resistance. At the gym, I use dumbbells, barbells, benches, squat racks, cables, the stair climber and so much more. Even if every machine is taken up, I find myself in a corner to do bodyweight exercises. In my backyard, local track and park, I sometimes bring my own bands, weights or cards to construct a workout while including the environment such as running up the big hill at the park, going up and down the stairs at the track or using the grass as a soft cushion for an ab routine. Regardless of where I go, what I do, whom I am with, the options are endless. All I have to have is a creative mind and figure out what works.