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The Road to Balance: Introduction to my Personal Fitness Journal

by Justine Calderwood, MSPT
This is my raw and real fitness journal. A little background on me: I’m trained as a physical therapist and what I’ve learned about sports and movement has either been through PT school, observation or my own trial and error. This is my journal of getting back in shape after starting my own business.

I’ve gone through various stages of fitness in my life. I didn’t grow up playing sports. It wasn’t an option when I was in elementary school and junior high. In fact, I don’t even remember there being a push to play T-Ball or soccer or volleyball. I did gymnastics for a period of time, but didn’t do the organized sport scene.

My backyard was my “field”. Growing up I rode my bike, hula hooped (I know, right?), played hopscotch, ran around the playground and raced anyone who wanted to (usually beating most of the boys and all the girls). By the time I hit high school I felt I was too far behind to start sports.

My best friends played softball, volleyball, basketball, and ran track. I went to a small high school in Traer, Iowa and if you wanted to be on the team, you were pretty much guaranteed a spot. You weren’t guaranteed to play; that took skill, of course. I let my self-imposed belief about “not being athletic” and “not knowing how to play” get the best of me and so I halfheartedly tried softball and track for a season each. Cheer leading was more my style and I enjoyed cheering for the Football and Wrestling teams through most of my high school career. I also cheered on my best girl friends from the bleachers and sidelines.

Before you start my journal, I want you to know that at one point in my life I was TERRIFIED to step into a gym. I was intimidated by free weights and machines and I was afraid I would look like a fool trying to figure things out. I had this silly notion that asking for help was for sissies and would make me look stupid. The first time I ever worked out with weights was during high school, with my friend Carrie at my side. She was a power house. Star player at every sport because she was dedicated and worked her ass off in practice (she’ll probably deny it if she reads this, but really, she was my heroine). She showed me how to lift and we spent more than one summer running on the streets around our small town and going to the weight room.

Over the years I’ve spent more than my fair share of time inside gyms. They lost any kind of intimidating hold over me long ago. I realized people aren’t really paying attention to me and they don’t give a shit if I have to read the directions on a machine to figure out how to adjust the seat or handles. Who really cares? I used to be intimidated by guys at the gym, too, and got over that. You know, the ones who grunt when they lift and are all beefed up and sweaty?

I stopped comparing myself to women who are more fit than me. That wasn’t helpful for my self-esteem. Plus, I’ve been on the other side of that and it’s not comfortable when you’re the fit one and you feel the self-loathing and shame emanating from other women as they glance your way. I simply don’t like people putting all their self-worth into their body image, male or female.

But, you know what? It took me years to get to this point. Years of weight lifting, restrictive diets, running, step-aerobics and fitness classes, yoga, and figuring things out at the gym. These days my main goal is to find a healthy balance between my business and home and to love myself fully in my own skin. I want to feel sexy when I stand naked in front of my husband. I want to sleep well at night. I want to be a healthy role model for my pre-teen daughters. I want to fit into my jeans and not have to buy the “next size up”. I want to feel peaceful and confident, physically and emotionally. I want to find some balance.

In 2015 I moved from Iowa to Colorado. I started my private practice in 2016. Prior to 2015 I was working out 6 days a week; running, elliptical, doing yoga, lifting weights and keeping myself in shape year-round. In some ways, but not all, I miss who I was back then. Most of all I miss the routine and the drive I felt to take care of myself. Nowadays I give my all to growing my business and helping my patients, but I know that can only last so long before I exhaust myself. I have a husband and kids that need me, too. I have to care for myself before I can take care of others. I need to find a healthy balance.

So, this is my journal as I commit to getting back in shape. The real me. Inside you’ll find my struggles, my motivations and my daily routine, sprinkled with stories and my inner-most thoughts. Talk about feeling vulnerable and exposed. Yep. I’m hoping by sharing my journey I’ll find the routine and healthy balance I crave and you may find some inspiration for your own journey. Maybe it will have you saying “me too!” and you’ll reach out and tell me. At the very least I hope you find a bit of entertainment.

Check in next week when I share Week 1 of The Road to Balance.

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Justine Calderwood, MSPT is a holistic physical therapist who is passionate about helping adults with chronic pain feel better and move easier to recover from trauma, injury or life circumstances, like abuse or neglect. She wants to help you discover the hidden clues to your physical pain, unravel the kinks, and guide you toward authentic healing, regardless of how long you’ve been suffering. Download a Free Guide on ways to relieve Back, Neck or Chronic Pain HERE, as you strive for a happy, balanced, active life.



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Justine Calderwood, MSPT is a holistic physical therapist who is passionate about helping women and men with chronic pain feel better and move easier to overcome trauma, injury, and surgery. She helps women during and after pregnancy to prepare their bodies for smoother births and recover afterwards so they can feel their best while caring for baby. She wants to help you discover the hidden clues to your physical pain, unravel the kinks, and guide you toward authentic healing, regardless of how long you’ve been suffering. Schedule a Discovery Session to see if Justine is the right fit for you as you strive for a happy, balanced, active life.

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