High Five For Fitness!

29th October, 2012
Fitness

I spent most of my life allergic to fitness. I’m a creature of comfort; I don’t usually choose activities that could cause me pain. I hate team sports and I completely lack any sort of hand-eye coordination. I’m as clumsy as it gets. The school I grew up in was extremely small, so everyone had to play every sport in order to have enough people to constitute a team ~ but I far too often found an excuse (or faked an injury) so I could sit on the bench and daydream the match away. In one basketball game, I scored two baskets ~ a career high! ~ for the wrong team. I’m just NOT naturally sporty.

However, as I get older, I find myself not only wanting to finesse my personal style, but also take better responsibility for the well-being of my body. Working out may not be my first choice of morning activities, but I know I’d like to eventually enter old age with a body that’s able and strong. And I recognize that, for all of us, the time to start a lifetime of healthy habits is NOW (cue the most embarrassing photo I’ll probably ever post on this site).As confessed, I’d never had the self-motivation to exercise regularly. I don’t like taking classes, I lead a very busy life, and there is always a good excuse not to go to the gym ~ chief among them being that I detest gyms in general. In my personal nightmares, hell is a crowded weight room.

And so, a little over a year ago, I enlisted my friend Ann Nichols to start training me. The goal was never to lose weight, as I’ve always been naturally slender. But being thin is not the same thing as being fit, and I knew I had a long way to go in that department ~ and that I wasn’t going to get there on my own. I needed someone to motivate me, hold me accountable, and find ways to make working out interesting for me.We started out in my apartment building’s usually-empty gym, which appealed to me because there would be no one around to witness my lack of coordination and strength. But after a few months of training together, Ann figured out what I really needed: to get outside. An hour in the gym with me had become what we liked to call ‘Kelly’s Cuss Fest’. I’d whine and wheeze out expletives as I disinterestedly lugged myself up and down that stupid Stairmaster. It wasn’t pleasant for anybody. One day, she suddenly suggested we switch it up, and dragged me to a nearby park to work out instead. Something clicked.I’m sure the fresh air had a lot to do with it. Even in a congested, polluted urban space, I felt unexpectedly connected to nature, and to the natural needs and abilities of my body.  In our local, typical city park (in broad daylight! in public! in spandex!), Ann had me doing push-ups and lunges in the spotty grass, and triceps dips on municipal benches. We graduated to tri-weekly power walks over the bridge (a 3-mile loop from my house), which slowly became run-walks and have more recently evolved into light, steady jogs. I’m gradually building up my endurance, and it feels awesome. Now, we do one-hour sessions three to four days a week, alternating between cardio on the bridge and strength-building in the park. Ann comes up with a slightly different routine every time, so I don’t get bored (or lazy!).A year ago I regarded our workouts with resignation and dread; now I look forward to them with an unexpected glee. I love starting the day strong on my feet, watching the just-waking city fast-forward through my field of vision. It makes me feel more connected as a New Yorker, like this place is really my own home. And it’s not that working out has suddenly become easy for me; it definitely still sucks. But I weirdly enjoy that now, because it sucks less than it used to. And I know that this time next year it will suck even less than it does now, and that I am training my body to be better ready to take on whatever lies ahead in life.Finally, I must admit: collecting cute workout clothes has gone a long way to maintaining my interest and enthusiasm. I bought a new pair of sneakers recently, and was thus inspired to go on my first-ever SOLO run! Not that Ann needs to worry about being out of a job anytime soon, but it is amazing what fashion can do for you.Are you into fitness, or are you as avid an avoidance-expert as I used to be? I’d love to hear what you all do to stay motivated! And, if you live in New York and are interested in training with my friend Ann, she teaches a kick-ass bootcamp class in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park twice a week ~ follow her Facebook page for schedule updates. If she can get me excited to get fit, imagine what she could do for you!

|IN THIS POST| Ann wears: Adidas by Stella McCartney top & pants (courtesy of Zappos Couture), Nike shoes // Kelly wears: Rick Owens beanie, Westward\\Leaning sunniesAdidas by Stella McCartney top & pantsNike shoes

|PHOTOS| by Mark Iantosca

  • http://twitter.com/KimberleeSugar Kimberlee Smith

    I was a fellow avoider!! I dreaded the idea of any form of exercise that ruined my make up. About 2 years ago I started slowly, working out 20 minutes 3 times a week, and am now up to about an hour of heavy sweating 3 – 5 days a week! My motivation? Spending more on my wardrobe. It is so much less guilt ridden to grow out of a fitted silk blouse that cost $80 than one that cost $300. I know, it’s sad, but fashion absolutely helps me! Oh, and a good denim try-on session when I’m feeling lazy…nothing is worse than seeing your butt disappear in a pair of J Brands. I turn on my Tracy Anderson video and kick my butt back into existence! xo Kimberlee

  • Karina Ibelis

    Great pictures… Last week I was thinking about your exercise routine and this post has revealed the mystery :)
    Im not an excercise person too but I think that is important to be healthy … I have a busy life too but I will trying to run in the mornings. Fresh air in the morning always helps to have a better day.

    Love your workout clothes :)

    Karina Ibelis

    http://karinaibelis19.wordpress.com

  • CJAJ09 CJAJ09

    looking good, I see how you’re hardly breaking a sweat. Lol, loves it.

    http://myafricancloset.wordpress.com/

  • Anonymous

    your body looks great even if you seem to not like any movement at all! super lucky and i am jealous!

    http://www.styleandshades.blogspot.com

  • Viviana Alma Falcone Molinelli

    nice workout! ;) xo, Alma

    http://www.soulofashopper.com

  • A.Co

    Awesome post and very real.

    I’ve held a gym membership for about five years (or more?!) and didn’t consider myself a ‘gym person’ until … well, I guess recently. Its’ not that I never went, I did, faithfully, several times a week (and slacked off the odd days too), but I just never felt like I was one of ‘those’ people (since I ‘hate’ the gym). Well, I guess over time it’s just turned into what my life is and who I am: someone that wants to be healthy and fit and in shape. It feels awesome to run up the stairs and not be winded and to be able to run for several minutes at a time (what!) and hitting those fitness goals (a year ago I ran 2km straight without stopping and this past summer, 5km without stopping! WOW!) is so rewarding and offers up a lot of feel-good emotions.

    Anyways.

    Keep up the great work!!

    A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

  • caroline

    What a great post. Hopefully it will inspire others to get outside and move!
    xo girlintheyellowdress.com

  • Gabrielle

    You look grate with that beanie! Love your style a lot! xxx

    http://www.fashionlatitude.blogspot.ch

  • http://twitter.com/keytothearmoire A Key to the Armoire

    I laughed so hard at your school experience as it’s almost exact to mine! I STILL hate exercise but, like you, I like being outdoors better than in a gym. Gotta try that more often!
    xo,
    Susana
    http://www.akeytothearmoire.com

  • http://www.suspironews.blogspot.com/ Betsy

    You even have a great outfit on when you are working out! I admire you!

    http://www.suspironews.blogspot.com

  • http://soosisloose.blogspot.in/ Betsy Soos

    Working out is a central part of my day and keeps me energized and motivated for work. I love to mountain bike since it requires concentration and stamina! Plus, wearing Lululemon for part of the day is a real treat :)

    The Soos Is Loose

  • Josefina

    Very interesting post, and I can totally relate to how you used to feel about working out. I recently started training with a personal trainer and after years of neglecting my body and health, I actually look forward to working out 3 times a week. I started in June, and still have a long way to go to get to a comfortable fitness level, but I am so glad I made the decision! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Anonymous

    wow,great! i love jogging!

    http://glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com/

  • Katie

    I wonder if this Ann can whip ME into Glamourai shape!

  • http://twitter.com/fashionduck duckalicious

    I used to be very similar to you – I hated anything even remotely athletic with a passion – and now I’m running and exercising regularly. what happened? no idea, but that runner’s high really is a hell of an addictive feeling!

  • Anonymous

    Yeaaaah, I am pretty much in the avoidance category when in comes to making time to work out. I kind of hate it. But your evolution is without a doubt inspiring.
    x
    http://www.iloveublank.blogspot.com

  • Rachel

    Gah, hopefully one day I can have this same outlook on working out! But I agree, fashion helps!
    Xo, Rachel
    Glitzy Blues

  • http://closetconfections.com ClosetConfections

    Your first paragraph pretty much summed up my feelings towards sports and gym class growing up. However, once I got older I discovered that I really enjoy weightlifting. It’s pretty empowering, and I see results right away which helps keep me motivated. Thanks so much for sharing your fitness regimen! :-)

    Kendra
    http://closetconfections.com

  • Samorama

    I LOVE the faces you are making in these photos. Very natural, easy, and beautiful. It’d be great to see more natural smiles/faces and poses in your other posts, too!

  • Anonymous

    GREAT post! I also HATE gyms and hate exercising but I make myself do it. I’ve recently taken up hiking/backpacking as a hobby which is really fun especially since it’s with a group of others. It’s hard to think in the long run (I’m only 20 years old) but I want to be healthy for the rest of my life and having a good diet and exercising is a huge part of that.

  • http://www.mailinh-nguyen.com/ Mailinh

    I was in that exact state until last year! I felt like I needed energy and to keep myself fit, so I joined a spinning class at the university I work at. And now….I’m completely addicted. I look forward to it every Tuesday and Thursday now.

    • http://www.mailinh-nguyen.com/ Mailinh

      This kind of felt like a “workout anonymous” post. Haha! Have a great day!

  • Erin Celeste

    I started in the gym about a year and a half ago, and I needed my personal trainer otherwise I never would have gotten a single foot in the door! And yes I fully agree cute workout clothes ALWAYS help!

  • Marián
  • Valeria Alvarez

    I hate fitness hahahaha, but I try to walk a lot, so at least move my body a little bit!!

    Kisses
    <3 Val
    http://www.beautyval13.blogspot.com.ar

  • Martina Vadillo

    I’ve enjoyed so much reading this post. When I was a child, I was never very sporty, although I loved dancing. When I grew up I had some problems with food, nutrition, gaining and losing weight,… Finding an activity that I could do everyday was crucial for me. It took me years to get used to my new routines (dancing was not enough because I didn’t have the time to go to lessons), but now I’m glad I tried until I found it. it’s amazing how making exercise can make you feel so good, free-minded, and ready for the day! xx I’m glad you found the benefits too!

  • http://twitter.com/vwlblog Luba Dimitrova

    YOu look gorgeous doing fitness ! It is been always part of my life and I feel so good and healthy because of practicing often !

    XX Luba

    Well Living Blog :: Win a pair of fabulous Stuart Wetizam shoes , learn how ::
    http://very-well-living.blogspot.com/2012/10/pearls-and-studs.html

  • Seriously, WTF?

    You may be new to physical fitness, let me give you a tip: People tend to sweat when they run hence don’t often wear $435 Cashmere beanies while doing it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maya.ostrander Maya Ostrander

      LOL. Good point, well made :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=697630617 Laura Jayne Walker

      & some people don’t wear $435 cashmere beanies ever! Seriously put me off this blog, seems to be all materialism these days. My partner loses his job in Jan after 14 years & he can’t get another, we’ll be heading for the food bank to feed ourselves like many others in Europe. You enjoy your soft $435 beanie when you go on your difficult sweaty jogs. I think I’m one with this blog, not inspired.

    • Kierstin

      This is such a ridiculous comment. If you are offended by expensive accessories why follow this blog? I think it is a great message to young (and hell – not young) readers to see how this beautiful, fashionable woman takes care of herself, in a healthy normal way.

      • Charlotte

        I don’t think its completly ridiculous. I think running with a chasmere beanie makes no sense! Regardless of the price… it’s chashmere!!! No one should sweat on such fabric, it’ll get ruined!! That being said, I agree… this is a fashion blog, fashion is a luxury.

      • Sophia

        I take this blog for what it is, simply a source of style; but I wouldn’t glorify it as a source of “great examples” for the young or not so young. Not the blog, and not this post we are commenting about. And as much as I love fashion, Laura is right: at the end of the day this site is all about a materialistic lifestyle.

    • http://crashingred.com Maria V

      well said!

    • http://www.yotengoalas.com/ Ana María Mendez

      Well said jaja i was thinking about it. But this is about a women who has just expensive things. Maybe she could get a pair of nike glasses.

    • Anonymous

      I doubt her intentions where to sell the $435 cashmere beanie. if you actually took the time to read the blog post you would’ve realized that she is sharing how she has gotten into exercise lately. The link is there simply because the people who read her blog and like her fashion like to know what exactly she is wearing regardless of the price of one item. I don’t think she mentioned “for a better exercise make sure to wear this cashmere beanie”. And it’s not like the money to get it just fell from the sky clearly she has worked hard for what she has, and even if she didn’t that’s none of our business

      • K

        um, you know what affiliate marketing is right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-Gomes-Cangueiro/674402244 Sara Gomes Cangueiro

      This is a fashion blog and we follow it for what it is, beauty, fashion, Inspiration…Regardless that most of us can’t afford this things! What i think is that is a limit for using expensive fashionable acessories/clothes and this fitness post is one of them. I would like to think that is more to life than fashion and as a reader i would like to see some reality when bloggers post about certain things…and that is why we are all wondering..where this people live? Seriously, wtf? In a fantasy world i guess…

  • Nico

    Now I’m in love with running..I hope that it will be like this even after a couple of month!:D

    https://www.facebook.com/LowbudgetLowcostBlog?ref=tn_tnmn

    http://lowbudget-lowcost.blogspot.it/

  • Lena

    Oh that looks so perfect! Wanna go out and run now haha!

    xxx

    http://joyfuldiary.blogspot.de/

  • Stills

    Oh perfect outfit for fitness!

    http://www.stills.rs

  • pilisstyle

    you look so stylish even when u sport! love the hat!

    http://pilisstyle.blogspot.com/

  • Sketch42

    I know a lot of naturally thin girls that hate working out… But after kids or around 26-28, just being skinny is not enough. You need some muscle tone to keep everything where it belongs otherwise you become a “skinny fat.”

    Working out becomes exhilarating once its part of your lifestyle.

  • http://twitter.com/never2polished Marjolein Lagerwerf

    Wow, this pep talk even makes me want to get a work out! ;)

  • http://www.thankfifi.com/ thankfifi

    I love working out but always hated classes – I do a Jillian Michaels dvd every morning before work in the lounge with my husband (our firends think we’re nuts of course…). I enjoy running too but prefer going with a buddy – running is such a measurable scale of your fitness though which I love because you can time yourself or see how much further you can run than last time without stopping.

    ♥ Thankfifi

  • Jules

    I am unfortunately an avoidance-exppert – however I dow ant to start again after reading your wonderful post !!

    http://www.julesfashionweek.com

  • Asia Carter

    I am the most out of shape person ever but am also naturally slender so I don’t work out as much as I should. Also I don’t understand people who come here to bitch about the items you promote in your blog . . . do they not understand you are a professional blogger. You should never have to apologize for your taste there are way too many personal style blogs that cater to everyone for people to come here and bitch about the pricey items you blog about. Enjoyed the post Kelly it was different that your normal post but I thouroughly enjoyed it.

  • http://twitter.com/VintageDanielle Danielle

    I am just like what you were. Whenever I run, I get all itchy so I’m guessing that I’m allergic to exercise ;) My condo has a small gym but I never go in it, I know I should. I could loose 10 lbs to be healthier but can’t find the motivation yet. Good for you on finding the motivation and engergy!

  • Ashley Taylor

    The old you sounds like me and I too have been needing a change. I cannot will myself to go outside or anywhere for that matter in this inconsistent weather though : Maybe I need a trainer, or maybe a boot camp instructor who comes to my house and physically drags me out. Hm. Good job for you though!

    xo Ashley
    luckylittlebird.blogspot.com

  • http://gigieatscelebrities.com/ GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I am so glad you got over your fitness allergy! LOL.

  • mckenzie.collins

    It’s always great to get yourself motivated! I need to get fit just the same, hoping to get myself to start now! The earlier the better!

    http://currentlylovingblog.blogspot.com/

  • Lubna

    Extremely well said! I personally would love th start working out but I don’t have the 100% motivation to do so. I believe that indeed if a person was there with you to encourage you, you’d do a hell a lot better. :)

    Lubna | http://www.ellevox.blogspot.com

  • http://crashingred.com Maria V

    If only working out looked that glamorous! lol

    • Charlotte

      yes, I love how she makes it look fashionable and painless! hahaha

  • Katja

    Great post! Love both looks!

  • Naomi

    I got myself a personal trainer after my surgery a couple of years ago. I started slow from 30 minutes session once a week. Graduated from once a week, to three times a week. and then, I started doing 45 minutes twice a week and got confidence to go to the gym! I know what you mean, fashion helps! I love shopping for the perfect little outfit also! I haven’t managed to go out and run yet. I am in love with boxing/kickboxing. I absolutely adore my personal trainer. I highly doubt there is anybody who can get me to say the words “beach run on a sunday morning” willingly with motivation in my voice!

  • Isa

    It’s so nice to see a post like this on such a well-known blog. I think the difference between fit and slim gets lost sometimes in the fashion world, what with everyone all trying to live up to impossibly thin and tall models so they can look better in their clothes. Hopefully you can motivate other, especially younger, girls to work out before they decide to skip meals! And you show us that it’s totally possible to look fashionable doing it!

  • Amber Sexton

    I have been thinking about fitness a lot lately, as I had a baby 5 months ago. I was very much into fitness before getting pregnant–hot yoga and jogging were my go tos. I thought I would be one of those women that jogged right up until the end (i wasn’t). I was sick all first trimester, and injured my foot at the beginning of my second trimester, but I was able to do some light workouts my third trimester. I found Stroller Strides about 8 weeks post delivery, and loved it much more than I thought I would. It has moms working out in public parks with their babies in tow, and is actually much more challenging than I would have imagined! Now that I’m back at work, juggling that and a baby (and my husband and I own a restaurant!) I’m finding it so difficult to set time aside to do this. I really want to drop the last 5-8 pregnany pounds, but more than that, I want to feel healthy and strong—and I sure do miss those work out highs! This post is motivating me to do something I know I’ll love in the end. :)

  • Abby

    Not all of us can afford a gym membership in NY, so thank you for motivating me to stay fit without one! Lovely message you are sending out to young women to be healthy! xo

  • becky

    So well said and can so relate!

  • Claire Lauriault

    I CrossFit! I have been doing so for a couple of months now. It has done wonders for my fitness, figure, appetite and sleeping. I enjoy it so much that it motivates me in itself. I do know that there is a Reebok CrossFit gym on 5th Ave. that’s amazing – I visited the last time I was in NYC.

  • Jennifer

    I wish I looked as glam as you do while I exercise!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Adri

    I’ve tried many kind of sports: tennis, karate, skiing, aerobic, jogging, volleyball, but my favourites are table-tennis and squash. I play squash once a week, I wish I could do it more often.

  • Mina

    This post is straight-up well written: personal, inspirational, and still with some eye candy. Perhaps more well-observed writing can play a role in the future of your blog?

  • Tiki

    Cool! I go there all the time!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Debra_Elliott Debra Elliott

    I love the top Ann is wearing! I would never workout in it though. I am a distance runner. I do up to 20 mile runs at a time and sweat buckets so couture clothes are out of the question…that also means no $435 beanies. ;)

  • Lou

    I really need to start getting into fitness and working on my health and welbeing more. It is always so much easier to sit on the sofa and eat choclate instead of going out…. I need to get myself together and start getting fit.

    Lou

    http://www.thekeypieces.co.uk

  • Camila

    I can totally relate. this last picture is the best!

    Take a look at our NYC tips http://www.cottontrendy.com

  • Caitie Schlisserman

    this is awesome! so happy you got a friend to train with you! xx

    http://www.ladyalamode.com

  • www.singlesdontbite.co.uk

    Wish I had a body like that and looked that good in a beanie – cashmere or not! Note to self – get running kit, beanie, and long suffering mate to get me away from this computer and out into the fresh air!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-Gomes-Cangueiro/674402244 Sara Gomes Cangueiro

    This is a fashion blog and we follow it for what it is, beauty, fashion, Inspiration…Regardless that most of us can’t afford this things! What i think is that is a limit for using expensive fashionable acessories/clothes and this fitness post is one of them. I would like to think that is more to life than fashion and as a reader i would like to see some reality when bloggers post about certain things…and that is why we are all wondering..where this people live? Seriously, wtf? In a fantasy world i guess…

  • Hannah Masters

    if you want cute workout clothes then you should definitely check out lululemon!!!! technicality that you need from workout gear, comfort like no other, long-lasting products, and [most importantly] stylish! they have stores all over new york, and i absolutely live by the brand.

  • vittoria gallacci

    You’re amazing even when you do fitness :)

    Vittoria

    http://vittoriafiveinthemorning.blogspot.it/

  • Faye de Lanty

    Bikram Yoga is my outlet…as you put it – it totally SUCKS sometimes but the benefits far exceed. It’s really important to take care of our bodies, it makes us fashion fighters! Love Faye x http://www.fashionhound.tv

  • Ann