CHAARG Journey Stories highlight our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, + emotionally. Ayana was one of the three winners of the 2017 CHAARG FitPlan. We are so proud of her for realizing that she is the only person that she has to impress + finding a fitness routine that works best for her. Read Ayana’s entire CHAARG Journey Story below!
I started the CHAARG FitPlan focused on gaining strength + endurance. Over the course of the FitPlan, I noticed a change physically, but more importantly, I noticed I was changing as a person. I was never really confident in my appearance, + I always pushed myself towards looking a specific way. I am 4’10”, so many people do not expect much strength from me which made me feel underestimated a lot of the time.
At first, I wanted to prove to others that I should not be underestimated, but my perspective changed because of the FitPlan. I gained more confidence in myself + realized that I should not compare myself to others or try to prove anything to anyone. The only person I really had to really impress was myself. A few years back, I was diagnosed with a few different autoimmune disorders that prevented me from doing many sports + activities. I did not expect to go to college or even participate in activities + clubs such as CHAARG, but here I am today. Being able to participate in this FitPlan allowed me to push myself + see how far I’ve gotten. I learned to focus on personal achievements rather than achieving to impress others.
This newfound confidence I began to gain helped me become a better version of myself and because of this people began to underestimate me less. If I had to describe this FitPlan in one word, I would say “inspiring.” I’ve always strived to be the best version of myself, + CHAARG really inspired me to push for it. I learned that although I know who I want to be + where I want to go, I need to really need to fight for it + never give up on myself. Before the FitPlan, I attempted to get back into shape by going on the treadmill a few days, but that would only last a week or so. I got so overwhelmed with everything going on in my life that I would not feel like going to the gym. Once the FitPlan began, I worked out 3-4 times a week consistently thanks to the support of some amazing CHAARGies. Now that I am more consistent, I enjoy working out a lot, especially with my friends. My family has also noticed that I am a lot happier + more relaxed. CHAARG has really shown me how much working out can improve a person physically as well as emotionally.
This FitPlan was just the beginning of my fitness journey, + I cannot wait to continue seeing how much more I can do!
++ Ayana [@ayana_inchaarg]
University of Pittsburgh CHAARG