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Goals, Pushing Limits and Why I Needed to Find a Fitness Buddy

by | Dec 28, 2015

I never set out to work out with a fitness buddy, nor get onto any type of program at all. The gym was the place I would hop on the treadmill and listen to a few chapters of an audio book while while my kids hung out with their buds in the childcare room. It was my break more than anything.

Then there was that game-changing dinner out, and before I knew it my go-whenever-do-whatever gym routine accidentally turned into a legit exercise regimen.

It started when my friend Paula and I both talked about wanting to get back into a routine after taking time off for our respective injuries. We both talked about wanting to try the weight training class but chickening out over and over.

I can’t speak for her, but I had been wanting to try the class for three years.

No, I’m not exaggerating. Three years.

And I hadn’t tried it until recently, which means I successfully talked myself out of it for three years.

The bars and plates are too intimidating. No way I’m doing a push-up in public. What if I use too much weight? I’m clumsy, what if I drop the whole bar? I’ll be mortified if I take a regular’s “spot.”

Apparently I wasn’t the only one, because Paula said she had been wanting to try it too but had the same types of hangups as I had.

With that, we made plans. We became fitness buddies. And here’s what that looks like.

We show up

For our Grand First Day Back, we decided to try that scary weight training class. We happened to pull into the parking lot at the same time, and we both confessed that we were thisclose to flaking out, and if we were going solo we would have skipped, no question.

Same conversation had on week two.

Both weeks, I felt like skipping. She felt like skipping. But we both dragged ourselves in there simply because someone else was watching for us.

Accountability. It’s powerful stuff.

We try new things

First we tried our new favorite class. Next, we’re planning to start a 12-week program recommended by a personal trainer friend. We’re modifying it because it’s a bit obsessive, but as long as it’s planned in advance, we’re playing by the rules.

My effectiveness will improve just by starting an actual program instead of zoning out with my earbuds. I never would have tried it had Paula not suggested it, but here we are, assembling our Google docs and calendar.

We encourage each other

It took a lot to show up to that first class. In motivating each other, we motivated ourselves, and we did it.

We keep each other in check

Our new routine involves resistance training to fatigue, meaning we should be using enough weight that we’re pretty spent on that last rep. I imagine this will take more than just showing up. We’re going to have to pull each other along.

I’m trusting Paula to watch me to make sure I’m using enough weight, because either I’m more capable than I think I am and I need to be convinced, or because I’m a cheater cheater pumpkin eater when it comes to exercise.

She can decide how to deal with me.

(On shoulder day, I’ll be eating pumpkins for sure.)

On the flipside, I’ll take it upon myself to make sure she knows how capable she is.


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