Posted Feb 26, 2018
When Kirsten first took ZYN22 for a spin, she had no idea what awaited her. Now, nearly one year into her journey and with over 100 rides down, she’s found that ZYN22 is so much #MoreThanASweat – it’s community, it’s confidence, it’s courage in the face of trials. Here’s her story.
My life has always had an active component to it as I grew up dancing, running, and in the past few years I definitely contemplated becoming a yogi for the rest of my life. Injuries have come and gone, causing me to change up my workout regimens quite frequently. However, no matter how active my lifestyle was, my teenage years were never shy of the moments filled with anxiety due to the way my body looked and a lack of self confidence that seemed to become much bigger than myself. People would label me “too thin” while also pointing out any moment began to grow or gain muscle. (and for what it’s worth, both thin shaming and fat shaming is altogether and in every way wrong. Nothing about placing your own opinion on someone else’s weight is okay, and it never will be.) In the past, as I came upon the age to where I noticed my body, I worked insanely hard to maintain my body at the place in which I thought I looked “skinny enough.” I began to turn my love for working out into a controlling game that caused me to decide which workout helped me maintain my bodily image the best. Soon enough, I was jumping from one workout to the next because I viewed working out as a punishment rather than an enjoyment, a restricted environment rather than an environment that allowed growth. I would go from workout to workout and spent half my days burning more calories then I let in. Around my sophomore year, I realized I was battling something bigger than myself and certainly something much bigger than any workout would fix. I had to find my self worth again. I had to not only understand the freedom my body deserved, but also walk in the freedom that my self worth was not found in the way I looked or what I saw in the mirror. My self worth is not dependent on if I have curves or if I do not. My self worth is not a number on a scale, or the way others see me. My self worth does not drift too and fro simply because my body grows or changes. My self worth comes from the fact that I’m a daughter of God.
After realizing this, my last two years of high school were filled with hills and valleys throughout my journey of finding my self confidence. Time went fast and soon enough I was graduated. Heading to college brought the talk of the “freshman 15” that I think every girl does not intend to gain. However, when your cafeteria food is far from decent and the walk to the hill to get your car causes you to never drive off campus for food, you’re stuck with peanut butter and that freshman 15 is far from your dorm room. But, that’s besides the point. The point in all of this is the fact that this past year was monumental in the way in which I took care of my body, viewed my body, and loved my body. I can truly say that I have fallen in love with taking care of my body in the way I have made working out a priority not because my mind tells me I have to workout, but because my heart tells me my body deserves the love. I have never felt stronger on the inside as well as the outside. I have found something that ignites a fire in me every single day, that makes me want to reach my goals and strive to reach my fullest potential I have in me that day. I have found something that allows me to give myself grace, but also something that gives me the ability to reach heights I never knew I could have reached. I have found something that allows me to be apart of a community so much greater than myself.
What is that something? That something is the one thing I will willingly wake up at 4:30 am for every single weekday. That something is the one thing that allowed me to find my why. That something is ZYN22.
To me, ZYN22 is a community that pushes me, grows with me, and understands me. Every time I go, I feel welcomed, loved and accepted. Every time I go, I feel as if I can push myself to new limits because I am surrounded by people who want me to reach my fullest potential. Along with that, I am working out alongside people who are there to do just the same. One of the most loved instructors, Nicoletta, constantly ends her classes by saying “we work out not because we hate our bodies, but because we love our bodies.” That simple sentence has created an entirely new heart in me in not only how I view my workouts, but how I view my body. I have been blessed with the opportunity to be led by instructors who set my soul on fire and make me fall in love with being alive by the presence they bring to the Dome. Some of them make a mean Kendrick vs. Drake playlist, while others leave you crying with an inspirational talk while the last song of the 45- minute workout plays.
This community is unlike anything I have ever been a part of. This place is a community filled with people who are in all different seasons of life; however, we all come together with the hope to become better for ourselves. I am blessed to have found something that not only makes me physically stronger, but mentally and spiritually stronger. Now, I can run, practice yoga, & spin my heart out with an uplifting mindset. As I fell in love with my body, I viewed working out as a way to honor the beautiful way in which God allows it to move. My long runs have become the most enjoyable part of my week, and yoga is now an actual practice instead of a workout. I no longer hold the weight and pressure that I used to; instead, I walk in a freedom that stems from self confid
All in all, here’s to beating the voice inside our head that tells us we aren’t t good enough, one workout at a time. Here’s to caring about the internal health of our bodies more than the number on the scale. Here’s to our happiness. And of course, here’s to ZYN22 and all the kingdom building that comes along with it. I wouldn’t be standing in the confidence I stand with today if it wasn’t for this place.