Having someone on your side can be a great help when you’re following through on your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. It feels like it takes so much more effort to reach our goals when we try to go it alone. That’s why Strong is Our Sexy exists – so women can support each other on their journeys to wellness!
Along the way, there are several kinds of “fitness buddies” you might find yourself running with, literally or figuratively. Some of them you’ll get along with and derive motivation from, while others will get on your nerves – as humans tend to do.
Which Workout Buddy Are You?
You bring the energy to the room. Even if it’s a barely-after-dawn aerobics class, or hot yoga on the fourth of July, or training for a half-marathon and hating it, you keep your spirits up and make an effort to help everyone else do the same. You don’t sweat, you glisten. You’re like a shot of espresso to the system. Maybe not everyone can match your enthusiasm, but you don’t need them to – you’ve brought enough to spare! If you have made it a habit to congratulate others on their effort, if you share inspirational fitness memes on social media and Like all your friends’ workout updates, if you ever go “Woo!” in an aerobics class and actually mean it, you might be a Cheerleader.
You’re down with the idea of mutual accountability with your friends. They do make working out less of a drag, and they’ll call you out if you back out on plans to meet at the gym or sign up for a class or workshop together. But unlike the Cheerleader, you’re not invested in everyone having the best workout ever and enjoying every second of it. When you work out with friends, it’s not the intensity you’re after, just the follow-through and camaraderie of being in this together. If you’re motivated by organized fitness challenges, if you don’t mind listening to your pals gripe about their soreness (as long as you get your turn, too), if you’re more likely say “Hang in there, it’s almost over” than “You’ve totally got this!” then you might be Moral Support.
It’s not uncommon for students or clients to develop a friendship with their instructors or trainers, especially if they’re repeat customers. Your friends always find ways to ask you questions about your expertise, whether or not you’re on duty. Sometimes it seems like they forget you have a life outside the gym. Of course, you also have to watch out for the opposite – not all your students are welcome up in your personal life, no matter how ‘cool’ they think you are! You’re probably friends with at least a few other instructors, because they get it.
You’re trying something different – a new activity, a new studio, a new instructor, a new city – and are eager to tap into the community. You are full of questions, but also want to look like you know what you’re talking about. You’ve gotten sucked into forums or comment threads about your new passion. You followed 106 new people on Instagram in one sitting because of this one mutual interest. When you talk to people outside your fitness circle, it still manages to sneak its way into the conversation. If your enthusiasm outweighs your experience, if you gravitate towards people who have been at it for years and secretly yearn to absorb their wisdom, you’re probably a Newbie.
Your friends from the gym don’t recognize you when you bump into them at Starbucks in “civilian clothes.” They’re so used to seeing you against just one backdrop! You’re a regular face at your favorite fitness spots, to the point that they ask around to find out if you’re okay when you miss a class, but your ears perk up when you hear about new offerings or locations coming soon. Like the Newbie, you often find your fitness hobbies working their way into unrelated conversations or areas of your life. If you often sign up for one class and end up staying for the next one, if you make a point to visit a local studio when you travel to another city, if you have ever justified the price of a fitness workshop to yourself, you might be a gym bunny.
You have a mission, and you’ve recruited (or been recruited by) someone else with the same mission. Maybe it’s 5K, a triathlon, a competition, a weight loss goal, or a bucket list item like going rock-climbing. You’re serious about your workout because it’s tied to something bigger, and you welcome the support of comrades along the way. You probably feel more comfortable playing team sports and taking group classes than working out on your own. You combine some of the best of the Cheerleader and Moral Support types with your knack for encouraging your teammate(s) towards the accomplishment of your mutual goal, just so long as you don’t let yourself get sucked into competition with them.
What’s all this talk about fitness classes and friends from the gym? That doesn’t sound like you. You’re not one to cross the streams between your social life and your pursuit of fitness. You’re probably not a big fan of team sports or group projects, either. If you do work out somewhere public, like jogging around the neighborhood or going to a gym, you keep your headphones on the whole time and hope no one interrupts you. You rarely, if ever, post about your activities on social media, pictures or otherwise, and aren’t particularly interested in your friends’ updates, either. So in other words, you’re not really anyone’s fitness buddy except your own, and you’re kind of okay with that. You still know how to party! Just, anywhere other than the gym.