Hey it’s OXB’s intern, Andi!
We are going to start a series of our “sweat stories”. OXB’s roots are in the fitness industry and our community comes from all different fitness backgrounds but all share a common thread… sweat. So it’s story time.
I grew up in an extremely active family- we played or tried every sport in the book. My dad was a star baseball player, my mom remains a badass cyclist, and my sister could throw down on the volleyball court. As for me- I sweat the most in a hole full of chlorinated water.
I started swimming competitively when I was about 8years old, and since then I can’t recognize myself with dry hair, imagine having a free weekend that isn’t stuck at a 6-hour swim meet, and training 20-30 hours a week for one event. However, that is what got me to where I am today, where I dreamed of being as a little girl. I had always wanted to swim Division I in college, and I would not settle for anything less. I currently am about to finish my senior season at the University of Denver- and to be honest; I may be going through an identity crisis at any moment. It may sound crazy; but I am going to miss practicing almost 11 times a week, waking up before 5:30 am, and going to class in between practices. It has been an exhausting life, but it has taught me so much about myself and my potential that I am infinitely grateful for because I thrive in moments of chaos, stress, discomfort, and trials.
Working out or even swimming is my peace and serenity. It helps bring so much clarity to my unsettling thoughts that keep me up at night.
When the world gets too loud with people talking at you, work constantly nagging you, and taking a break for yourself seems impossible- that is when I put my phone on do not disturb, and I tune into the sound of my own racing heartbeat. Working out or even swimming is my peace and serenity. It helps bring so much clarity to my unsettling thoughts that keep me up at night. More like natural worries- about the next phases in your life, what the day will look like tomorrow, the daunting long days, or the weeks that never seem to end. Giving myself the opportunity to sweat takes away all of those worries and doubts- it helps me get out of my own head and into my body. The body that is made to move, made to be pushed, and made to sweat.
Being able to empower my body also empowers my mind. It gives me the ability to gain confidence through seeing what I can do physically, and taking that certainty into the real world that is full of insecurities. With being so physically active, I am able to see tangible results. I see the consistency finally pay off- and I will not only look better but I feel better mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And that is why I love it. I enjoy seeing actual results from actual work- although it is a process (no magic wand unfortunately) it is one of the sweetest rewards. Because it is a time to spend with yourself, be honest with yourself with where you are at and where you want to be, and it is tests your own limits because you are holding yourself accountable in that very moment. It’s you against yourself- your biggest competitor. In moments of pain, are moments of growth- do not settle for anything less than your best, you are better than that. And I constantly remind myself of that- I am not here because I ate too many cookies, but because I love challenging myself and my mind through sweat so I can carry the best version of myself back out into the world of people that need me. I am a firm believer in the fact that, you cannot give to others when you have not given to yourself. With that being said, sweating and physically grinding out is what fills me up- so I never run out of energy to give to those that matter the most to me.
Not only does it bring me moments of clarity, motivation, and passion. But it brings me happiness, and that in itself is the biggest reason why I continue to prioritize my sweat routine.
When I was in middle school, about 12 years old, I lost one of the most important individuals in my life; my dad. He was my best friend, biggest motivator, and number one fan in every area of my life. He was the biggest reason I began competing in sports, and the sole reason that I should never settle for less than I deserve. He pushed me to my limits because he saw endless potential; and I will continue to never lose sight of that, but I will chase it every damn day because that is what he instilled in me. I find it the most valuable to connect with him through being active because that is where our bond was the strongest. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, although this lesson is a little hard to understand, it has put a lot of life in perspective for me.
It is not about what you look like, how much money you make, what brands you can afford, or how many Instagram followers you have. But about creating a genuine connection with yourself, never giving up on yourself, inventing connections and relationships that will last a life time with the people around you, and understanding that each day we wake up- we have a chance, a purpose, and we may never get that opportunity again. So go chase what’s yours. Settle for nothing less. And know that at the end of every day, you gave it all you had that day.
That was a bit of a deeper reason why I sweat. But to end on a tad lighter note.
I love the community I have met through my team and through the fitness industry thus far. I thrive off of the positive energy and the goal crushing that is infectious throughout this industry. And may I just say they look damn good doing it. I am constantly immersing myself with inspiration and motivation, whether it is through my favorite lightning bolt necklace or someone physically reminding me that I can push harder, it has only increased my willingness to be better in every aspect of my life. This shit is contagious. There are no limits with this kind of mindset, or with these kind of people. Endless potential is a beautiful thing to chase- and sweating (in a pool or in a room full of strangers) helps me each and every day. By bringing clarity to my purpose and developing my passions. I am then able to implement that growth in my life each and every day.
Having a community or a support system behind you not only keeps you accountable, but it keeps you sane. Without having this OXB community or my teammates, my mental break downs would multiply, sleepless nights would be more consistent, and I would not be able to sustain such a positive outlook on life. I would encourage everyone to find ~their own~. Whatever that means for you- find them and dive into that community with an open heart, and you will only receive infinite amount of livelihood and encouragement back.