Fitness is an important part of my life. In fact, I’m super addicted to training, that my day feels incomplete without my daily workout. Exercise for me is like brushing your teeth – if you skip it, something just doesn’t feel right, eh!?
I was a super fat kid who enjoyed being a couch potato, watching cartoons and playing video games all day. Things improved a bit in high school when I got into sport and started playing football (soccer). However, my eating habits were pathetic. As time flew by, I went through a not-so-awesome transformation from fat to super skinny! By the 10th grade, I was tall and lanky, and weighed around 52 Kgs. Change was needed big time!
Like most people, I wanted to be fit. I wanted that well-toned body with big arms and washboard abs. So, what’s the easiest way to achieve that – HIT THE FREAKIN GYM, right? Well, that’s what I thought. By the age of 19, I stepped into the gym for the first time, surrounded by big guys with huge egos and cocky attitudes. I’m not going to lie, I felt super intimidated and didn’t really know what I was doing. I could barely see any change in my body as my consistency was poor. Honestly, I wasn’t enjoying that kind of vibe. Three months in, I was super bored of lifting weights and bid farewell to the gym. I knew it wasn’t for me!
One day, I was scrolling through some YouTube videos and a few clips by this fitness community called the “Barstarzz” caught my eye. These guys were super shredded and swinging around bars at outdoor parks, doing all sorts of crazy tricks! I found it super intriguing and tried to figure out what the hell these guys were up to. That was my introduction to the world of “Calisthenics”.
Calisthenics is derived from the Greek words ‘Kalos’ and ‘Sthenos’ which meaning ‘Beauty’ and ‘Strength’. It is the art and science of beautiful movement where the body and mind are working together to the perfect symphony of mobility, stability, strength and play.
This form of fitness primarily involves the use of one’s own bodyweight with little or no use of weights or equipment. It comprises of four basic exercises – pushups, pullups, squats and dips. With practice and patience, a person can level to harder moves like the muscle-up, handstand, L-sits and other bodyweight skills. I’ve been training for almost a year now. While I feel I could’ve done more, I’m pretty satisfied with my current progress.
I kept working hard and opportunities came my way. I became a brand ambassador for ON1E Clothing, an athleisure brand which fueled my motivation to another level!
I feel so much more stronger and in the happiest frame of mind. I train six times a week and can do things which I felt were impossible at one time. Calisthenics has given me a new lease on life and enabled me to develop immense self-belief. It not only makes you look good, but you feel great. It is helping me big time, and now I want to use it to help others.
It’s my dream to grow calisthenics around the world, especially in India. To do so, I got together with some close friends in Mumbai and set up India’s premier calisthenics and outdoor fitness park – “Elysium Calisthenics Park”.
Today, I’m studying to be a certified personal trainer in calisthenics and street workout. I’m the best shape of my life. And the crazy part is, I’m only just getting started. I believe I can keep improving and will try my best to help people around me reach their true potential!
Kirsten Varela @kirstenvarela