The start of my college fitness journey started my freshman year where I gained the infamous freshman fifteen, or in my case freshman ten — but I was already chunky when I started my freshman year. When I gained those extra ten pounds, it really affected me mentally and I decided to lose the weight by exercising and eating healthy. I ran on the treadmill and went on the elliptical and I began to lose weight.

After a year and half, I built my endurance for the treadmill and elliptical and they became activities that did burn calories, but they did not challenge me anymore. So I started to run outside, and for a while, I loved running and beating my old times, but I was not in love with running. Summer 2018 I took a free boxing class and I almost fainted. I actually had to step away and lay down like a snow angel in the gym's bathroom. I went back and completed the class and I felt so exhausted after the class, which is something I missed. I love feeling physically tired and sore after a challenging fitness class. I could not afford to pay for every boxing class so I left it at that. Fall and winter of 2018 I really did not physically challenge myself.

It all changed for me when I took a cycling class provided by DePaul's fitness center. I was taken back by how intense cycling is, even though from the outside, it just seems like people are riding bikes. In this class, I almost fainted twice. I felt very lightheaded and my heart was pounding not only fast, but loud. I kept going though, and I finished till the end, where I had to sit on a bench and breath in and out because I was close to throwing up. After calming down and reflecting, I realized that I fell in love with cycling. The class challenged me both physically and mentally just like boxing did and I craved more.

That weekend I signed up to an LA Fitness and I went to my second cycling class on May 20, where I felt a rush of hope during the hard segment of the class. I felt like I could finally reach the goal weight that I had been yearning for since high school. I look forward to my cycling classes. I finally understand how people can fall in love with a fitness class or the gym. You just have to find something that challenges you and makes you feel alive.