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How working out makes me feel I can conquer anything

Julie Janckila is Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Network of Executive Women (NEW). NEW is focused on the advancement of women in business. Julie is passionate about women's leadership development and helping women reach thei...

Why exercise makes me feel like the strongest version of myself

When do you feel most powerful? Is it when you are leading a project? When you receive recognition for a job well done? Maybe you feel most powerful when you are at home, when you are with your children or doing something you love.

I was in a group fitness class called Total Conditioning Extreme this past Saturday morning. The class format is a cardio warm-up of 10 minutes and then alternating combinations of high-intensity cardio and strength training. It is definitely challenging and an incredible full-body workout for 60 minutes.

We were about 20 minutes into the class, and the energy in the studio was pumping. The instructor and the 60 attendees, including myself, were in the moment and feeling the endorphin high. The instructor said, “Don’t you feel great? Like you could take on the world? Anything else you have to take on today will seem like nothing in comparison to this tough workout!”

She was right: That was exactly how I was feeling.

It made me think about how powerful I feel during and after my workouts. I realized that is when I feel most powerful, like I can do anything I set my mind to and nothing is going to stop me from achieving my goals. I started lifting weights again about a year ago, and that has made a big impact in my physical strength, endurance and confidence.

Exercising also gives me mental clarity. It helps me brainstorm new ideas, think through situations in my life and find solutions to problems.

I am in a totally different frame of mind after exercising. If I am stressed about a work project, the stress and worry are gone by the time I am done working out. If I am down about something, I am in a better mood after my workout. Exercise is my therapy and daily attitude adjustment. When I walk out of the gym, I feel my most powerful.

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