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I'm a non runner who started running. Here's how I did it.

I'm a non runner who started running. Here's how I did it.


I’ve been into running lately. Ever since my life transition left me without a proper gym, I have been taking advantage of the summer sun (and sometimes rain if you can relate to how crazy the weather is in Texas). I’ve never been a fan of running. I'm a non runner who started running, well, weeks ago. It hurts. It’s long. It makes me feel like I’m gonna cough up a lung. But when I finish, runner’s high is like nothing else in this world. How I learned to love running, even when I hated it.

Since I started to run more, I reached my first goal of running 3 miles. What's more, I finished two 3 mile runs. Both times, it felt awesome. Nevertheless, I make it a point to run at least 2 miles each time I run for distance. The minimum used to be 1 mile but now that I know that I can run for at least two miles, I strive for two. Sometimes it’s hard. Other days, it feels like nothing (and those are the days that I run 3 miles). I guess it’s because I can’t afford for my brain to think it can start relaxing at two miles when I know I have 1 more mile to go. My goal is to run a 5K soon and then, by the end of the year, I want to run a 10K. My 1st hardcore goal is to run a half marathon next year. If I keep this up, I’ll be well on my way to completing that half marathon. But I must focus.

Focus is definitely key if you're a non runner who started running this year. You must focus on breathing, focus your mind to keep it from panicking, focus your eyes on something to keep your mind off the distance. Running still isn’t easy for me. And I am, by no means, a fast runner. And I’m okay with this.

I'm a non runner who started running, and it isn't as bad as I thought

This challenge is necessary not only for my body but for my mind. Because it’s weird what I think about in order to keep myself going. I think of how some people don’t even have access to their legs and are unable to run. I think of my grandmother who hasn’t really taken care of herself and is now in bad health conditions because of it. I think of my future children and how I want to be able to keep up with them and teach them how to make healthy life choices. I want better for myself and that’s what this whole lifestyle is about for me.

This post about being a non runner who started running was written by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here.

Staying healthy during college isn't a walk in the park

Staying healthy during college isn't a walk in the park


I am a college student (well, I will be for the next two weeks). I work hard and I achieve grades that count. But college has been pretty easy for me. In fact, I say this all the time: school is a skill that I have. I can pass a class pretty easily. Will I work hard? Yes, but I’m not one for all-nighters because I love my sleep. Aside from being a college student, I’m also a student worker at my school’s campus visit office. This means that every week, I’m talking with kids from elementary to high school about my college and college in general. Visitors often ask me what my biggest adjustment was in the transition between high school and university.  Normally, I insist that my time management skills made the largest change. Looking back on it, I earnestly think that staying healthy during college was the biggest adjustment that I had to make.

A lot of students idealize college as a big ball of freedom. In a sense, it is...but with freedom comes responsibility. Unless you play sports or are part of some other organization that requires you to be active, you’re pretty much on your own as far as exercise goes. In high school, I didn’t even know that I was in shape because I just saw color guard as color guard. Performing an 8 minute show over and over again tired me out, but I never gave it much thought.  Once I got to college, I didn’t have my color guard director nor my choreographer to shove certain moves down my throat. As I became increasingly sedentary, I started to lose my muscle.

On top of losing muscle mass, my food intake was low and of poor quality. I ate out so much during my first year of college that the thought of my eating habits sickens me to this day. Now, I’m very particular about where I eat out; I treat it as a special occasion and I savour it. Needless to say, I gained the freshman 15 and then some. I thought that if my stomach wasn’t flapped over my pants’ waistline, then I was okay. As I started to look at my body, my stomach wasn’t flapped over but it was starting to jut out.

I embraced an active lifestyle with a lot of hard work and determination. I will say that a huge wake up call for me came during Christmas this past year. I was wearing a black dress and as I was walking down the stairs, my mother-in-law said, “You’re not pregnant are you?” That was my a-ha moment.  I knew that change must happen.

If you’re in college and you’re eating ALL the ramen and doing no kind of exercise, stop right now. The earlier you start to make a change, the better off you’ll be. Staying healthy during college isn't easy, trust me. But if you really want it, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Staying healthy during college isn't a walk in the park

This is a post by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here.

5 ways to stay sane during hectic situations

5 ways to stay sane during hectic situations


Between work and school and family, right now, I’m drowning. I have so much to do in the next month in order to prepare for post-university life. Yet, I keep pushing my work to the side to play on my phone or watch TV or to do anything imaginable that isn’t work. It’s been so bad that last week, my heart was racing for about 5 days due to anxiety and stress. How am I supposed to cope with all that’s going on? In my head, it seems easy to just buckle down, get the work done, and then relax. But in application, it takes a lot more energy. So I’m going to do something a little different for this post. This week I’m going to list my top 5 ways to stay sane in hectic situations.

Plan your work and work your plan

Make a plan and stick to it

(Image via giphy)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a visual person. It helps me get things done if I write things out in the form of calendars, to do lists, and even step-by-step tasks. It may seem like extra work but by writing things down, I’m seeing just how much needs to get done and how it needs to get done.

Take a deep breath


(Image via Dundee Runners)

During those times when my heart races with stress, I like to take some really deep breaths and clear my mind. If possible, I also try to listen to some nature sounds like the forest or, my favorite, ocean waves on Spotify or YouTube. By focusing my mind on breathing and the nature sounds, I’m able to clear my head for a second and create a blank slate to do more work.

Imagine the satisfaction

Do a happy dance. You deserve it

(Image via Tumblr)

Visualize how great you'll feel once your work is complete. One thing that also helps me is envisioning myself completing the tasks at hand. Seeing the pure joy on my stress-free face makes me want to work towards that even more.

Ask for help

Don't be afraid to reach out for help

(Image via 4shared)

Nothing in this world is accomplished alone and we are not super humans. Ask for help if you are unable to complete a task. It may be hard to let someone down or place a burden on another but, chances are, that person is agreeing to help you because they care about you very much.

Take time to make yourself happy

(Image via giphy)

I cannot stress this last point enough. No matter what you do in hectic times, it’s important to remember your own happiness. Carve out some times for breaks in which you do something you love to do like baking, watching TV or, in my case, singing your heart out to your favorite songs.

I hope you can use some of these tips in your own life to stay sane in the busier times in of your life.

This is a post by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here

Why I'm actually getting fit for real this time, and so can you

Why I'm actually getting fit for real this time, and so can you


I was not born with the athletic/sporty gene at all. All my life, I’ve been pretty average when it comes to athletics. When I was younger, I did tap and ballet dancing which was a bit of a work out each week. The most I’ve ever been active was in high school, when I did color guard and winter guard. Both of these activities were intense and gave me mad muscles, yo. Nevertheless, when I graduated high school, I was not inclined to work out. I would get little itches to be fit after looking at myself in the mirror every once in a while but I wasn’t serious. My mind wasn’t ready for what it actually took in order to get the body I wanted and to maintain it. Needless to say, I slacked off quite a bit in the fitness department up until 2013 when I was a junior in college. I had a fear of being the chubby girl, so I started working out. But the workouts I was doing were not up to snuff. I started that journey by walking on the treadmill at a fast pace because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to run yet. I slowly started to get up to jogging and, to my surprise, I was able to jog a 5k on the treadmill. I was doing well.


I don’t remember what happened but I got complacent and started working out less and less. I think it was the fact that every time I looked in the mirror, I saw no difference in my body. I was looking in the mirror expecting to see an ab or a bicep or something and I saw nothing. I gave in and stopped working out altogether. I kept on this track for a while. Sure, I’d work out from time to time but it wouldn’t be anything intense. During Christmas time last year, I started researching exercises, foods to eat, and running techniques. I wanted to get in shape, for realsies. Finally, on January 5th, 2015, I went to my school’s gym and just started working out with HIIT on the treadmill. The rest, as they say, is history.


getting fit for real

I tell this story because I feel like all those times I “worked out” and “wanted to get fit for real” led to this time in my life. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been since leaving high school and I’ve been doing this not to just look better but to feel better. There have been two things that have helped me out so far during this journey:

  1. Taking weekly progress photos instead of judging my progress by what’s on the scale. If I went by what the scale says (which is between 180-185 pounds for 3 months now), I’d be severely disappointed in myself right now. I do go by what I can see and I see that I’m gaining a butt, losing back fat, and my stomach is shrinking slowly. The body is an amazing thing and watching myself change each week brings me joy and motivates me to keep going.
  2. Giving my mind the strength to move me in a positive direction. Whenever I’d start these fitness journeys in the past, I’d give my mind strength to lead me down a negative path. I’d listen to the excuses I made up for myself and I’d give up so easy. This go round, I’m harder on myself to keep going with the workouts and it works out for me (no pun intended ;)).

I say all this to say getting into a healthier lifestyle should not be done for the short term goal of looking good because that implies that once you reach that point, you’re going to stop. Getting fit for real is a long term lifestyle choice. It's an ongoing thing. You may fall off from time to time but get back up. You’ll be happy you did.

This is a post by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here

Working out is hard. Here's why that isn't stopping me.

Working out is hard. Here's why that isn't stopping me.


Let’s face it: working out is hard. Depending on the person, some aspects of it are fun and easy but for us normies, working out is a challenge. I’ve been on my fitness journey for over two months now and you’d think each day would get easier. Well, it does but that’s the thing you dread. The moment it gets easier is the moment you know you gotta push it one step further because if you’re body’s not challenged, you begin to plateau. So everyday, five days a week, I go to the gym with nervousness in my heart. They say if you’re nervous, you care and boy do I care.When I get into the gym I begin to get in the zone. I take off my sweats. I tie my hair up and out of my face. I turn the t.v. to a show that makes me laugh so I can take my mind off the pain (preferably Parks & Recreation or How I Met Your Mother). Then, it begins. Stretching is the easy part. It’s my last minute time to be relaxed until I get to the nitty gritty. The first half of my workout is arms and abs. I huff and puff through that knowing that the worst is yet to come: cardio.

Cardio has always been a necessary evil of bitter sweetness. I know that’s a lot to think about. It’s necessary because it gets the heart rate up. It’s evil because, come on, how could it not be? It’s bitter for the same reason it is evil. And it’s sweet because once I’ve completed it, I feel so good about myself. Almost as if I’ve climbed Mount Everest. It’s safe to say that while I hate cardio, I keep coming back for more because I love it at the same time.

I usually do HIIT (high intensity interval training) on the treadmill and then some stair master action for cardio. It’s the treadmill exercise that gets me. On the treadmill, I start off by setting the machine to an incline of 2% and a pace of 3.5. This gets the juices flowing and gives me time to cherish the moments I have walking. Then, after 1 minute, I up the pace to 7.5 and sprint my booty off for 1 minute. I repeat this 7 times. The first round of this isn’t so hard. Even the second one isn’t so bad. But by the third one, I begin to question my abilities. All of these thoughts float in my head. “You can probably stop after this round; you’ve done enough already.” “You could just complete the rest of your cardio on the stair master.” “It hurts! It hurts! Stop! It hurts!” Oh how that voice messes with me. It makes me feel like I should listen and just stop. But then a louder voice comes in and stomps all over that initial voice.

“You’ve done this before and you can do it again.” “You’ll be so disappointed in yourself if you quit now.” “Keep going! You’ve come so far! It’s almost done!” Luckily, my body listens to that voice and I complete the treadmill work out with a smile.


Fitness is all about the mind. You change the way you think and you’ll change the way you act. Listening to that voice that tells you to stop will only bring you disappointment later. So keep going and give yourself a huge hug and a big gulp of water after you’ve completed another successful workout.

Check out Chelsie's YouTube page here