We’ve all marveled at the chiseled physiques and jaw-dropping displays of speed, power and precision that athletes showcase at the Olympic Games. But it’s the behind-the-scenes work you don’t see, the years of preparation and discipline when there were no fans cheering or cameras rolling, that also makes it a joy to watch these amazing athletes show off their skills.
When you think about it, the Olympics and fitness worlds aren’t so different. If you want to lose 20 pounds, inspiration alone isn’t enough. You have to work for it, show up every day, even when you don’t want to. There are no fans cheering or cameras rolling. So, what makes you turn your motivations into actual movements? We asked readers to share their fitness breakthroughs, the moment when they decided to turn the idea of getting fit into action. We hope their responses move you.
“Being hospitalized twice in a month for hypertensive crises and knowing I had a bad cardiac risk in my family. I was 38 and knew something had to change and fast. I returned to the gym as soon as doc cleared me and saw the sign at the front desk for boot camp. It was like it was meant to be.” — Robin
“There comes a time when you realize there's more to life than indulging, feeling badly, looking stuffed in your clothes, and making excuses. I made a motto: No excuse. Ever.” — Julianne
“That breakthrough moment came when I realized that if I didn't get strong and physically fit, I would never regain my emotional and spiritual strength and fitness. My training and my faith are what brought me through a dark time in my life.” — Meredith
“As someone who has had three heart surgeries since I was age 6, there really is no other option for me but to get healthy and fit.” — Emily
“I’m approaching 40 this Friday, and want to be a fit 40, not a flabby 40!” — Gigi
“In my mid 30's. I was tired of being out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs. My husband was in the Marine Corps and always wanted me to run with him, but I couldn't run more than a block or two without getting winded. He was in Iraq and I decided to get my butt into shape. When he returned, I impressed him with my running skills!” — Cassie
Author Bonnie Pfiester owns fitness facilities and runs boot camp programs in Vero Beach, Florida with her husband Steve Pfiester. She is also a fitness model and columnist. You can follow her on Twitter at @BonniePfiester.