When I learned about CHAARG, I knew immediately I wanted to be an Ambassador. All of CHAARG’s values aligned with mine. I was confident in my ability to lead + inspire. What I was terrified of though? What people would think when they saw me.
I’m a pretty small person. I’m a runner. Until recently, I was weak. How could I show 170 girls that it was okay to lift in the “boys” section if I didn’t do it myself? How could I honestly tell them to pick up a weight when I rarely did so? I was afraid I wasn’t strong enough to be this leader. I didn’t think I was the proper image for an Ambassador.
These five weeks proved me so wrong.
When I signed up for the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan, they asked us what we wanted to get out of it. Having just completed my first marathon, I honestly wanted to fall in love with fitness — aside from running. I was skeptical, but I gave the plan a chance.
Throughout these past five weeks, I’ve had a lot of firsts.
1] I STARTED A #6AMCREW
At first I was like HA no. But then I gave it a chance + I FREAKIN’ LOVED IT. I mean, honestly, if you would have told me in my unior year of college I’d go to the gym — voluntarily — before the sun rose, I would have laughed. But that feeling of being awake before the sun + sweating to start the day is honestly the most refreshing + energizing feeling in the world.
2] I WORKED OUT WITH GIRLS I DIDN’T KNOW.
Probably my favorite part — meeting new CHAARGies + challenging each other. I had always just done my thing at the gym but having a friend [or a soon-to-be friend ;)] is the BEST THING EVER. Workouts were fun + easily the best part of my day.
3] I USED A BARBELL FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Barbells were always a no for me. But I tried them for the FitPlan + actually really liked them. I found myself adding extra reps after I completed the workout for the day because I thought they were fun. Who am I?
4] I BENCHED FOR THE FIRST TIME.
So barbells used to be a no, but benching used to be a HAHA no way. I remember the first time I saw them in the plan. I gave them a chance — aka I did 3 reps + substituted something else. Then they came up during the last week of the plan + I was like I GOT THIS. It took much longer than it should have, but I did 30 reps of the bar + I felt so. good. after.
5] I SQUATTED FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Squatting with weights used to terrify me. It just looked so big + cumbersome + I thought I would look weird. But during the #CHAARGSBFP, I put all my inhibitions aside — I realized everyone is insecure about something + everyone at the gym is trying to better themselves, so why would anyone be making fun of me for doing the same? I used to think everyone was staring at me while I was in the weight room. [Silly, I know.] But now I know they’re not + if they are, they’re welcome to watch the show.
6] I SPRINTED AT 9.0 + RAN BACKWARDS ON A TREADMILL FOR THE FIRST TIME.
All throughout marathon training, I ran around a 9:30 pace. I focused more on mileage than speed. Well, a FitGoal of mine is to run sub 8:30 miles. During this FitPlan, I don’t know if it was because I was physically stronger or what but I ran on the treadmill at speeds I don’t think I’ve ever run. Usually 7.0 was pretty fast for me. But I made it all the way to 9.0!!! Plus, I ran backwards, which was so different + exciting!
For the first time, I feel strong + confident + whole. I’ve realized there is no ideal image for an Ambassador or for anyone. We are all unique + different. That’s what’s so special about CHAARG. I have fallen in love with fitness + the way it makes me feel. I’m not afraid to go in the weight room, I’m not afraid to sprint, + I’m not afraid to challenge myself + the girls around me. I LOVE that the #CHAARGSBFP has given me the tools to finally feel like it’s okay to be me. It’s okay that I’m new to weights — the point is that I’m trying, every day, to be the best me.
#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Alyssa was one of the three winners of the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan 2015. We could not be more proud of her for all of her *firsts* + for being an awesome leader, role model, + friend to #PennStateCHAARG. We are so thankful she brought CHAARG to Penn State! We cannot wait to follow her journey through CHAARG!