During the lockdown, I often felt motivated to get back to my previous level of fitness, hence in a small attempt to achieve that long-term goal, I started working out for small-time periods at regular intervals to gradually build my fitness back. I used my knowledge from Taekwondo, in order to execute this experience and decide my workout plan.
Throughout the process, I had to keep on analyzing my strengths and weaknesses so I could try to overcome them. My main goal was to get back to my pre-lockdown level of fitness. After each day and after each exercise, I would reflect on what I could’ve done better in terms of technique and also sought advice and feedback from my mother so that I could do it better next time.
My strengths included having a lot of core strength, really good technique in some exercises which is crucial in avoiding injury, having good height on jumps, and good speed. My weaknesses were not having enough stamina during fast-paced exercises, not having enough upper body strength, not being able to work on my flexibility, and failing to cool down properly a lot many times, which led to muscle aches later. My flexibility is something I aim to continue to work on in the future, as it is something crucial in all aspects of fitness.
This was a completely self-initiated activity which I was self-motivated to do, as lockdown had taken a toll on my fitness a lot. It was important that I get back to my previous level of fitness. When I started the workout I often felt demotivated as I was not getting where I wanted to be as fast as I wanted, but I also realized that it was important to pace yourself properly in order to avoid injury. So using the knowledge I had from Taekwondo, I started light and gradually built the difficulty and intensity of my workouts. For example, for a certain exercise, I started with 30 repetitions on the first day, I aimed to build up to 50 after a certain period of time, and 70 and so on. Also, before each workout, I would attempt to plan out my activities for the day to help me be more systematic and organized. I would attempt to diversify in terms of areas of fitness such as flexibility, cardio/stamina, strength, core training, and relaxing days, which I felt would help develop my all-around fitness more. Another thing that was important to plan out was the flow of the workout which included, warm up first always and it always ended with a cooldown. I also learned many muscle relaxing techniques as a result. There were a lot of disruptions to my schedule for the workouts, as when I would plan workouts I would often find myself occupied with other school-related tasks, which means I would have to cut down on the time I dedicated for a certain exercise or skill. Also, sometimes I would find myself get stuck on a particular skill, which would be very frustrating, so I made a plan on how to improve on the same in a given period of time and eventually was able to do those skills properly with good technique. For example, pushups, where I could barely do one, I started with first working on my upper body and core strength, then I did a mild version of pushups, then I only held the position to get the technique correct, then working on half pushups and then finally going for the full ones.
Even though personally, fitness and any form of physical activity is not my forte, as I am not very skilled at it, I had to continue with this CAS experience, as I knew without it I would not be able to achieve my final goal. Even though I found the workouts to be extremely draining physically, I always persevered and continued until I met my set target for the day. During the course of the workout exercises sometimes, I found it to be undoable or too painful, so in those cases, instead of giving up on those exercises altogether which included squats, lunges push-ups, and splits, I found ways like working through it step by step and learning how to relax muscles after vigorous exercise so I could continue, which shows that I was committed to completing this to the best of my ability. Another evidence of my commitment would be the fact that even if I had to stop due to some reason in between an exercise I would immediately pick it back up and continue again or restart it, I tried to not leave anything incomplete. For example in plank, if I dropped at 1.5 min and my goal was 2 min, I redid it entirely, until i could do 2 min. This experience required a lot of time commitment as well, as the workout is a lengthy process in itself and it could get difficult at times to balance it with the academics, but I tried to stay as regular as I can, even doing workouts at night if necessary, so as to not break the flow and lose the habit. This was a positive challenge that encouraged me to maintain my fitness.
Reflective: I have become aware of my strengths and limitations and how to overcome them through this process as I continuously reflected back on my performance.
Balanced: This experience helped me lead a more balanced life.