The gym and I have a complex relationship. We're sort of like the friends that bump into each other once and a while and make plans to hang out but never follow through.

Too many times have I started attempting to follow a strict workout routine, only for it to fall apart shortly afterward. They always seem to have the same lifespan of about three weeks, which is usually the time that I start to see satisfying results. It seems as though I'm sabotaging myself on purpose as I search for excuses to get out of a workout.

"Too bloated," I say after downing a bottle of water.

"Not hydrated enough." If I haven't drunk anything at all.

So I settle for the following day and trick myself into believing that it will be different from the one before.

"I'll make up for it later," I think to myself, knowing that later never comes.

The cycle continues until I'm back in the place that I started— panting after a flight of stairs because I've lost the shape that I worked so hard to get into.

I think back to my high school years, and it seems as though I was a completely different person back then. One that could balance eight hours of school and still manage to dedicate an additional three to soccer and volleyball practice. I could run a mile straight without feeling the need to collapse after breaking the first drop of sweat. The main difference between now and then is that had coaches pushing and training me to be the best athlete that I could be. Instead of caving under the pressure, I was fueled by it.

I try not to beat myself up too much now for missing Pilates or yoga sessions. My body isn't in the same shape as it used to be, and I'm learning to be okay with it. When I'm on the elliptical, I try to mute the echo of my high school coach's voice in the back of my mind that tells me to push harder.

With every failed routine, I remind myself that forming habits takes time, and it's truly every step of the way that counts.