My Passion to Exercise

I hopped on my bike and hurried to our local college, about a mile away, carrying my well used racquetball racquet in one hand.  I was 13, and eager to compete with guys twice my age.

When I arrived I quickly searched for an open court or at least someone to challenge.  Usually on weekends the courts were filled and people were waiting to play.  Since I was a good player it wasn’t long before someone asked me for a challenge.

Cutthroat. That’s what they called it. It was a competition between 3 opponents.  I warmed up for a few minutes as I sized up my challengers.  I was there to win.

After hours of playing in the hot sun and exhausted, I always left satisfied, with more energy than when I arrived, and happy.  All the anxiety I may have felt before was stripped away.  I realized exercise made me feel good! Was it the intensity, the competition or the camaraderie that did the trick?  It was all of it.

There are plenty of studies showing positive effects from all 3 of these on our mental state.  Initially it was the competition that got me out there – playing to win.  This was motivating but after meeting people and sharing stories I looked forward to the friendships more than the competition.  It’s well known that the camaraderie from a group sport has the same positive effects as exercise.  We all know hanging out with friends laughing and telling stories makes us feel good.

Making this connection at such a young age allowed me to find resolve of my stress and anxiety over the years.  I rely on it today.  I teach it with enthusiasm in my wellness classes and encourage others to exercise and find group activities.

Now go out and exercise!  Have some goals like walking or running your first 5K to stay motivated.  Find a group like AQLife and FivePeaks Training Group to exercise with, stay challenged, and laugh; it’s rewarding and relaxing.

About Vincent Alvarez

Registered Dietitian, Lifestyle Educator, NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer, founder of Athletes for the Quality of Life
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2 Responses to My Passion to Exercise

  1. Cyndi says:

    Thank you Vince for sharing your passion for exercise in your wellness classes. It certainly got me motivated. I wanted to second the part about setting a goal. It is super easy with all life presents to put off exercising until a better time, however if I have a goal I’m committed. I have met a few new friends through AQLife and look forward to meeting many more at future events. AQLife is having a Nature Walk later this month and it would be awesome to see many of you out there. Keep checking back frequently also as AQLife is working continually to offer rewarding and energizing activities for all of us to enjoy.
    Thanks Again,

  2. ChristopherV says:

    People often say: “only if they could find the fountain of youth”, “only if there were a pill I could chase with a glass of water”, “only if”…

    But Vince you’ve already figured it out! And were lucky enough to discover it at young age. Being active IS the fountain of youth. And what’s even more exciting about leading an active life is the added benefits that a pill just can’t deliver, such as friends, laughter, and experiences.

    It can be challenging to create an active life, let AQLife and 5Peaks help you jump start the rest of your life. It’s just getting start…..


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