From the couch to the gym

Former college-athlete explains her struggle of getting back to the gym

Posing with a soccer ball at the age of four, Colette began playing soccer which carried through two years of being a Blugold Athlete, setting the stage for her active lifestyle.


Posing with a soccer ball at the age of four, Colette began playing soccer which carried through two years of being a Blugold Athlete, setting the stage for her active lifestyle.

Story by Colette St. John, Managing Editor

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to exercise; that is, through sports.

My mom is the type to throw her kids in as many activities as possible, like swimming, Girl Scouts and even karate, which helped to create quite the active lifestyle even as a kid.

From those, soccer played the biggest role in my life, beginning when I was four.  I remember the good ol’ days of playing Chaska High School soccer. Being from the suburbs of the Twin Cities, it’s safe to say competition was fierce; facing big city opponents like Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, and Prior lake.

Sweat-filled tears fell down my face as the clock counted down and our chances of winning slimmed, eventually losing my last high school match to Benilde-St. Margaret’s as well as the chance to advance to state, something Chaska women’s soccer has never done before.

Even after that experience I knew my soccer journey wasn’t over, so I went on to play collegiate soccer freshman and sophomore year at UW-Eau Claire.

Being a college athlete was a tough experience to say the least, one I don’t regret taking on. Coming to college for the first time and making immediate friends, staying in shape and being a part of a tight-knit team was great, but soon soccer became all I knew. With the constant practices, workouts, team gatherings and games, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

I didn’t want that anymore, so I reluctantly quit.  At first, I was sure I made the wrong choice, but after joining new groups and organizations, I saw I made the best decision for myself  in my new soccer-free college lifestyle.

Being in shape during my first two years of college was great until I didn’t have soccer practice or a game to force me to workout. Slowly I began to see my motivation to exercise dissipate.

I decided I didn’t need to work out for a while as a sort of reward for finally being done with sports. Not a good idea. That one month of being lazy and eating whatever I wanted turned into many months. By that point, I didn’t know how to get back to the gym or eat healthy again. It all seemed daunting.

I would go to the gym and begin eating “healthy” for a week until I slumped back into Netflix and fast food binging once again.  Any excuse I could possibly think of prohibited me from getting back into it.

Then, just like that, this past winter break came to the rescue for my body and health after I was too disgusted with how I looked and felt.

Deciding to put off working at my job over the break, I had a lot of down time and no excuses for hitting the gym. I knew it was time to finally lay all of my excuses to rest and get my jiggly and untoned body to the local Anytime Fitness.

Anyone who has gone to the gym after a long period of not working out knows this can be a scary experience. I soon realized the time it takes to adjust to working out again and going to the gym is short. I even felt more confident after just one short week.

Being familiar with working out as a former athlete is comforting, but doesn’t fulfill all of my goals for the spring semester. While working toward a toned body, I also want to achieve a more holistic view of my health, including mental and spiritual health through habits like clean eating and meditation.

Vegetables and the gym? Yikes.

Join Brian and I this semester as we traverse through two journeys of opposite backgrounds, yet similar end goals of fitness, nutrition, and more.