Working out on a budget

When I earned my college degree, I was faced with a large amount of student loans that needed to be paid back.

I was having a difficult time making my car payment and managing the cost of insurance.

I was forced to live on a tight budget. There was no extra cash to go out for lunch or pay for a gym membership. I rented a small, rundown apartment situated in a rather seedy section of the city. I didn’t have confidence in the lock on the door and used to push a dresser in front of it at night. The electric outlets were so ancient that I couldn’t operate a box fan at the same time as the toaster. There was hardly any water pressure and the hot water always ran out. The faucets dripped and the drains clogged. The air conditioner barely worked and the heating system was so expensive to run that I adjusted the thermostat as low as I could tolerate it. I’d dress in layers of sweaters and bundle up in a blanket to stay warm. I had a hard time finding effective ways to workout. Sometimes, I’d head out for a run around the neighborhood. I made sure to carry a can of pepper spray with me at all times. I was terrified the whole run. Since I didn’t have the money for any type of equipment, I needed to be creative. I figured out how to manage strength training by lifting full water or milk jugs. There was just enough space inside the apartment to do ab crunches, lunges and squats. Push ups, burpees and mountain climbers were go-to exercises. I hung a bar in a doorway so I could do chin ups and pull ups. I made sure to get in a full workout every morning. I was so happy and relieved when I finally began earning enough money to move into a better apartment in a safer location.

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