Hello, nutcaseinpoint readers. It’s Athena over from Fitness & Feta, and I’m thrilled to be here guest posting for Jen today! When Jen first asked me to write a guest post for her (which by the way was 38473423 months ago, and I’m the WORST friend/blogger EVER for only writing it now), she said it could be about anything I wanted to write about in the whole world. That even a post about polka dots would be okay. While I do love polka dots, I’m not sure all of you would want to read about them, so I decided to write about something even better and more fitting for a post on the fabulous Jen’s blog: Gym friends!
I didn’t always have gym friends. I always had DANCE friends, especially during my years as a member of the Providence College Dance Company. Having that group of girls, an “automatic 25 sisters” as we liked to call ourselves, was awesome and definitely one of my favorite parts of my dance experience. But for the actual gym? Not so much. Sure, I would go work out or take a group exercise class with a roommate, but I never really had anyone that shared my same passion or love for working out until I certified in and joined Corpbasics, or CBC as you may have seen Jen write about before.
As much as I love and am obsessed with my gym
cult group of gym friends now, they didn’t happen overnight. You have to put yourself out there. Maybe you find yourself always standing on the same side of the studio as another girl in a Zumba class you love to take. Maybe you constantly find yourself cardio-ing away (yes I just turned cardio into a verb) next to the same person day after day because you both go at the same time after work. Just put yourself out there and say hello. Such a simple thing can be intimidating and make you get all self conscious and think to yourself, “what if they think I’m a freak?”, but really when it comes down to it — who cares? What’s the worst that can happen? The worst is that they won’t say hi back, and then it’s fine because you can go tell all your other friends who are way cooler anyways about that bee-yotch on the machine next to you at the gym.
I started teaching at the Y over five years ago, and I certainly always said hi to people and was friendly, but it wasn’t until a few years into it that I started to make actual friends. It started when I began chatting with “the tall blonde girl,” not even knowing her name (hi Jen!), because she came to all my classes and stood in the same spot (upper right side of studio, right in front) week after week. We would chat, about what I’m not sure, and one day she told me she liked one of the songs on my CD. I burned Jen a copy of my CD to be nice, then a few months later she made me some fudge for Christmas, and well the rest is history. We started chatting more and more about other classes we took at the Y, and she raved about Liz’s Kickboxing class on Tuesdays. I tried Liz’s Kickboxing class, shortly after Liz convinced us along with a few other Y girls to join Corpbasics, and we all started “party busing” over there every week. Boom. My group of gym friends was born. And through my recent increase in face time at the Y (instructor, personal trainer, healthy living coach, group exercise coordinator) I’ve made even more friends along the way.
We spend a lot of time doing fitness related things…
But we also make a lot of time for fun!
So maybe you won’t find an insane group of gym obsessed friends like I was lucky enough to, and g-chat with them during the day, and then not be able to say goodbye in the parking lot for a good 45 extra minutes after class ends, only to go home and post on each other’s Facebook walls about how awesome our workouts were…. BUT! Even just finding one friend that shares the same fitness goals as you do can have a lot of benefits.
I realize that not everyone thinks diet and exercise are as fun as I do. In fact, most people probably think diet and exercise are the total opposite of anything that could remotely be construed as fun. But having that buddy can provide extra motivation to get up and get going. It’s a lot harder to say that you are going to just drive home and order a pizza when you are meeting someone for a run, or a class, or a tennis match. I know that on days I sometimes don’t feel like working out, I will send a text to one of my gym friends saying, “tell me why I should go today.” And most of the time their response is enough to get me to the gym. And who knows? Maybe that friend is the support you need to vent about your workday, or get you to lift an extra 10 pounds, or someone to laugh at your jokes. Better yet, they may introduce you to other people in their lives and help expand your social circle. Nothing wrong with a little networking, extra encouragement to keep you on track, and maybe… just maybe… the key to actually looking forward to your time at the gym.
Do you have a gym friend or group that keeps you going with your workout goals?
Thanks so much for the post, Athena! I couldn’t have written it any better- gym friends are AWESOMESAUCE!