Let’s Get in Shape Together

I wrote this as a guest post on a cool blog, Drink Wine and Giggle.  The Drink Wine and Giggle gals are all about using the power of friendship to turn girlfriend time into life-enhancing experiences.  They offer activities that will encourage self-awareness; strengthen your bonds of friendship; be an inexhaustible source of fun; and make your life better in a lasting way.  Check them out! at drinkwineandgiggle.com

Let’s Get in Shape Together

The title of this post is Let’s Get in Shape Together – the key word being together. I have always found that it is a lot easier (and a whole lot more fun) to exercise and get in shape with a friend. Not only does the time pass more quickly when you have someone to talk to, but you will hold each other accountable for doing the exercise!

The hard part is finding a friend who wants to do the exercise you want to do at the time that is convenient for both of you. So rather than wait around for a friend to want to go to the gym, to yoga or for a run, a better approach may be to go out there and join in with people who already exercise. You may start out as strangers, but you may end as friends!

I have met all of my exercise partners, many of whom are now my friends, this way.

About twenty years ago, when I first got into exercise, I joined the local Y. It was convenient for me to go during lunchtime and so I started going a few times a week at noon. Within a few months, after seeing the same people week after week I started developing friendships. And since the only time I saw my “Y friends” was when I went to the gym, it kept me going. To this day, while many of us have moved away and few of us still go to that YMCA, I remain friendly with a handful of women whom I first met at the Y. We stay in touch and even get together a few times a year.

More recently, I wanted to get back into running. I noticed that my local running store had a 5K and a 10K training group forRunning Grace upcoming races. I signed up for the 10K group. The goal of the group was not only to train us to run the race, but also to encourage camaraderie among the participants. During my first run I met up with a woman who ran at my pace.  We started talking, trained side by side and completed the race. Now, 3 years later we meet for a run once or twice a week and even make time to go to the gym together. I met a new friend who I would never have met if I hadn’t first ventured out there alone to the running group.

These are just two examples from my life. There are many opportunities to join up with a group of people who share what you enjoy. Check out your local bicycle clubs (for all abilities), hiking clubs, ski clubs, adult softball and basketball leagues, bowling leagues and soccer leagues.

A Google search will yield groups and clubs in your local area where you can join in with a group of people who enjoy the activities you do and who will keep you getting out there and participating!

More Motivation!

This morning, my son ran his first half marathon.   He just recently picked up running and trained for this race which was in Richmond, Virginia.  I was thinking about him and I decided that rather than just think of him, I should give him positive energy by getting out and running too.  Granted I only ran 4 miles, but it was 4 more than I would have run if I hadn’t done it for him!

I hardly ever run with my I-pod, because I mostly run with my running partner.  But she was away, so I brought my I-pod.  Unfortunately it ran out of charge about half a mile into the run, uggh.  Sooo, I was left to  my own thoughts!  I decided that I really do like to run, but it is really hard to get motivated to get dressed, lace up my shoes and JUST DO IT!

I kept coming back to a poster that is hanging up at the gym.  I don’t know who first said this, and I may be paraphrasing but here goes:

No one who goes out for a run, upon finishing, wishes they stayed home.

No one who goes to the gym and works out, afterward wishes they stayed home.

No one who climbs a mountain to get to the top, looks around and says, “I wish I just stayed home”!

 

Motivation — not!

This is the time of day when I say, hmmmm it’s 4:00, I could go to yoga at 6:15.  I have plenty of time… but then when would I eat.  Well, I could have a small snack now and then I could eat at 7:30.  Sounds good.

OK, I’ve had my snack, now let’s see what else should I do for the next hour and a half before class?  I don’t want to get too involved because if I do, I will miss the class.  But, I hate to do nothing and just wait.  Well I have to drive home, that will take about a half an hour.  Maybe I’ll go for a walk before class…maybe I’ll walk to class.  No, that won’t work, it will be dark when class is over and I don’t want to walk home in the dark.

How about I just go to yoga tomorrow?  Yeah that will work.  I’ll go home and then go for a nice walk (in the light).   Well, why not go to the gym?  I haven’t been there in a while.  I could go for a walk, then go to the gym.  Well if I’m going to do that, I might as well run, it will take less time.  No, I am not psyched up to run today.

OK here’s the plan.  Go home.  On the way decide what to do, walk, gym, run, yoga…or just make dinner…..

I’ll report back later

 

OK, leaving now to

Stick to It!

Well this hit home!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started an exercise program, given it up, started again, given up, re-started….you get the idea.

I think I reach a point where the novelty wears off (like learning to play the piano), or I achieve the objective (such as completing the half marathon), then I just stop.  Oh there are lot’s of good reasons (I don’t have time to practice, it’s too dark and cold out to run).  But I know it is going to be HARD to get back into my routine having given it up.  Well I’ll be paying for it come Spring!

(Thanks to http://livingachangedlife.blogspot.com/ for the words of inspiration)