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I recently began grad school on the journey to become a physical therapist. What I expected to have when I began was something I did not have; free time. I quickly learned my “free time” was time to study and time to workout was often sacrificed. Someone who went from working out 6 days a week often had to trade in time at the gym for time in a cadaver lab.

With this, however, came a very valuable lesson. Much like myself, many of you reading this have a number of demands life throws your way. Again, much like myself, many of you often have the need or urge to get a workout in daily. This comes the point where you need to ask yourself ‘what matters most?’ In the beginning of the quarter, I tried to hustle out from lab to make a workout class or ensure I got to the gym. As you can imagine, my grades reflected this urgency to workout that cut lab time short. I had to regroup and find a new way to stay active and still do well in school.

Every morning I began jogging or walking with Baylee (the cutest little puppy dog in town) to ensure she and I both got exercise in. Some days, that was the extent of my workout. I had to learn to be ok with that. Often, we get too hung up on our routines that any changes to them may cause anxiety as it did for me. But when that happened, I again had to ask myself ‘what matters most?’ If I didn’t do well in school, would it matter I lifted weights 6 times a week? If my goal to become a physical therapist was squashed, would it matter how many miles I ran every week? I temporarily had to reorganize my thinking about workout frequency to match what matters most. You may find yourself switching up what time of day you get to go to a class, or even get to try a new class completely. Adapt to the changes life throws at you and embrace them with positivity. You may be able to meet a trainer you haven’t taken a class with yet, or workout with a new group that may spark a new-found motivation.

Now I’m not giving you an excuse to skip your next FITT-RX class just because you don’t feel like working out. This is just your friendly reminder not to lose sight of ‘what matters most’ and how it interacts with your workout routine. Some weeks you may be able to keep a routine, but train yourself to be okay with some weeks where you don’t get to be as active. Don’t let workouts get in the way of important time with friends, family, work, school, or perhaps you have the second cutest little puppy dog in town to hang out with. The time I found to be active every day helped keep my sanity, but I had to know when to adjust a workout to best fit my long-term goals. Find some way to be active every day, eat well, and make sure to sleep (lol I’m a self-admitted hypocrite here). On the road to overall wellness, workouts are just a piece of the puzzle. Keep yourself in check by always ask yourself ‘what matters most?’

-Megan Sandilands, FITT-RX Trainer

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