Isabelle’s CHAARG Journey: I Found My Team

Starting college is scary… am I right? New people, new place, a new world to delve into + make the most of… how exciting! But, at the beginning of last semester this was what terrified me.

Throughout high school I was super involved, I had a lot of friends + I was comfortable with my surroundings. I was a dedicated track athlete with a team of girls who were my best friends + I loved it. I felt supported + as though I belonged to something, something that made me want to hop out of bed in the morning + be my best possible self. I had goals + I had girls that loved me enough to help me reach them… what could be better?

Upon graduating, my team went separate ways. I had opportunities to sprint for smaller universities, but my heart always pulled towards IU, a D1 school that I wasn’t quite fast enough to compete at. I chose to follow my heart, which also meant that my track career was over. This was a hard decision for me + I struggled with it. I had given up running + suddenly that support system I had for 4 years was no longer by my side. I felt instantly less comfortable.

Along with a loss of comfort also came a loss of inspiration. First semester, I tried to keep motivated. I went on solo runs + did yoga in my room. I kept active, but something was missing. I could be doing something greater. I had potential + I knew that deep down I was an athlete. Just because I wasn’t on a competitive team, why give up pushing myself + working towards reaching my highest potential [+ finding people to help me do so]?

Starting second semester with this in mind, I [nervously] attended an IU CHAARG party. After a semester of stalking CHAARG on social media, + with encouragement from my mom + boyfriend, I decided to go. I walked in by myself [scary!] but suddenly I clicked… not with a specific person, but with this whole organization. This is it, I thought, I found my fit. I signed up for a membership that night + walked away feeling so excited.

Shortly after signing up, I registered for the Spring Break FitPlan. It was a hard decision at first [it shouldn’t have been!]. I was thinking of every excuse, “I don’t have enough time” or “Maybe next time”…. But right when registration opened, I signed up + told myself, “Time to see what you’ve got”.

Turns out… I’ve got a lot. The FitPlan began + I was lifting, running, sprinting + training intensely everyday [things I hadn’t done in awhile]. But, much to my surprise, I was finishing the workouts. They were extremely challenging, but were they impossible? No, nothing is. After every workout I felt a stronger sense of confidence + contentment. The FitPlan was giving me that purpose I was seeking, something to strive for. Shortly after starting, I was seeing visible results. I was getting stronger than ever. I felt happier too, which was a huge improvement from my former lonely + uninspired self.

Feeling like you belong to something is so important + the #CHAARGSBFP girls gave me that. The FitPlan connected me to 999 girls across the nation who were working toward the same goals: they were supportive, helpful + they quickly became my team. The SBFP Facebook page provided words of wisdom + motivation ++ Instagram was one of the best ways to get inspired [who would’ve thought?!]. IU CHAARG also started a GroupMe for the girls in the FitPlan + from day one everyone was messaging to organize workouts and to encourage fellow CHAARGies. How amazing. 1000 girls who strive to reach their potential + who want to help each other do the same? That’s one awesome team.

The CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan taught me many things. It taught me that I am strong, beautiful + I can do anything I put my mind to. I learned that I don’t have to be running competitively to be a true athlete. Most importantly, I learned that I have a place + that I am not alone. CHAARG + the #CHAARGBSBFP led me to myself + also to 999 [plus!] girls who are cheering me on to become the best I can be + for that I am so thankful. I am ready for wherever this takes me + I know this is only the beginning…

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+ Isabelle [@isabelle_inchaarg], IU CHAARG

#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Isabelle was one of the three winners of the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan 2015. We could not be more proud of her for immersing herself into this community, + we’re so happy to see that she’s found friendships along the way [#IUCHAARGCrew]. We cannot wait to follow her journey through CHAARG!

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