Look at yourself without comparing yourself to others 〈NATSUKI KISO〉

Natsuki Kiso began training and running after entering the workforce, and discovered the joy of physical exercise with friends.
  • Photograph:IORI MATSUDAIRA

HERENESS MEMBERS introduces "people who know the joy of physical activity.

In this third issue, we introduce Natsuki Kiso, who started training and running after becoming a working adult and discovered the joy of exercising with friends.

As a student, Kiso was a member of a brass band and had never been involved in physical activity, but after becoming a working adult, she became fascinated with the idea of physical activity and is now working toward certification as a yoga instructor.

It was the community that kept me training.

I was in the brass band for six years as a student and had nothing to do with exercise. When I entered the workforce, I gained weight due to stress, so I tried running to lose weight, but running alone was too painful to continue. So I went to a gym that offered group training, and I was hooked. I would go five times a week, sometimes twice a day, and after an hour of training, I would sweat a lot and feel a great sense of accomplishment. I thought it would be great if I could experience that feeling every day.

The community was a big part of what made it possible for her to continue training. With her friends, she was able to enjoy running, something she had once given up.

I made a lot of friends while going to the gym. Before I knew it, I had forgotten that my goal was to lose weight, and I was looking forward to going to see my friends. Running in a group was fun because we could run at a pace that allowed us to talk, and unlike when I was alone, I didn't feel any pain at all. Thanks to that, I came to love running and even started practicing speed.

The Corona disaster has caused the cancellation of numerous marathons and many runners have lost their goals. Kiso, too, was affected by the disaster and lost his motivation for running.

He says, "Due to the Corona disaster, the marathon I was supposed to run in was canceled, and the company's running club is no longer active. I can no longer run with my friends, and I have lost my motivation to run. I realized once again the importance of community in running."


In yoga, it is important not to compare yourself with others

Meanwhile, I have more time to do yoga, which I can do at home. His encounter with yoga led him to rethink his approach to physical exercise. Now she is studying to become a yoga teacher.

She says, "In yoga, it is important not to compare yourself with others; on the yoga mat, you focus on your own world. Looking back, when I was running a marathon, I had a feeling that I wanted to run faster than that other person somewhere, and I was subconsciously competing. I realized that I was tired of comparing myself and worrying about what others thought of me.

Kiso discovered the joy of physical exercise through playing sports with her friends. In yoga, she learned to look at herself without comparing herself to others. It seems that she has found just the right balance between sharing the joy of physical activity with her friends and not losing sight of her own self-confidence.