People that don’t train usually don’t want to hear about your workout. I do get blank faces whenever I start about it, all enthusiastic. At my second sentence I usually notice the “I really don’t want to hear about this, but I’m trying to look interested”-face; so I end it with a “….in short: it was good!”. All good, I get it totally. But I do really enjoy ALSO having friends around me with who I CAN share ‘gym talk’ with. It’s fun and motivational too.
I’m realizing ‘the joy of shared interest’ is probably even more important for people with tougher ‘fit-goals’ to reach. People trying to seriously lose weight when others around them don’t have weight problems. Sure, all will be happy for you when you lose pounds. But probably wont get how hard it truly is to reach your goals (and stay there).
The gym: a social hangout
Most of my friends don’t train. I guess the REALLY serious ‘gym-people’ belong to their own subculture, generally. And if you’re not in it, you’ll feel a bit awkward between others that seem to think you’re obsessed, too skinny or too muscular. Ok happily most of my friends don’t think that way of me (or they hide it well), but you can feel a bit odd with friends that don’t have the same passion and goals. -luckily there are many other passions and goals to share btw ; )
Talking about gyms and workout,new stuff you’ve done, what works and what doesn’t work for you, discussing kettle vs dumbbells, how much you’ve gained or lost.. ahwell.. you can only talk about that with people that actually have a passion for it themselves. You mainly find those people at the gym ; ). Its what makes the gym such a good social hangout too. It’s why a lot of people seem to talk more than that they actually lift. Thats ok -at least they’re there (for me to talk to, lol)- just don’t do the talking in between sets, cause people might be WAITING on you to leave the bench!
I’m glad a lot of gyms and trainers actually see the benefit of the social part. More about that some other time ; )
The importance of having friends and contacts around you that train too is simple: It’s motivational and fun to share a common interest. It’s even more important for people that find it hard to push themselves to work out; people that are actually not addicted to the gym, but really want to go because they want to live healthier and/or lose weight. And I know there are some people that are even too embarrassed to go to gym because they feel insecure about their bodies. They shouldn’t. Were ALL there because we care about our bodies in one way or another and want to work for it to make it stronger/look better/be healthier. We all have that common denominator, no matter the age, sex or weight. That said, going to gym with a friend will make it all a lot easier.
So here I started off complaining about other friends not getting my seriously interesting gym-life (being a bit sarcastic here), but the topic of having gym buddies is even more important if you’re trying to lose those kilograms; you need a friend that has the same goals. Plan workouts together, share what works or doesn’t, push each other to go that extra mile, vent to someone that understands the possible disappointments and party together when goals get closer. It why the AA wants their clients to have ‘buddies’; Hard stuff can be a lot easier (and in this case FUN) to deal with if you find yourself a.. well, a playmate
Don’t let ‘being on yourself’ be a reason not to go to the gym (or other type of sports club). Because you’re not. Especially in the group-classes; you’ll always find someone else who just started (on their own) or soon enough figure out with which people it ‘clicks’ and share the same goals..
End conclusion for both gym lovers and the reluctant: get out there and find your motivational friends, work out, have fun!
Personal conclusion: How I love my playmates! *wink*
October 24, 2013 at 22:39
Yeah, baby! I’ve recently joined a triathlon club and it does motivate me to work harder at my training sessions (and to actually get out of the house now that it’s dark!).
October 25, 2013 at 08:10
Oh, yes, the dark cold days are on our doorstep (yikes, daylight saving time ends this weekend!). You’re right, it does make it harder to get out of the warm and comfy house :(.
Triathlon must be such a good and heavy workout (will definitely get you warmed up in no-time). I read an article about it this week, on how it’s starting to be a real trend in the UK and US. I wonder when the continent will catch up. I’m sure it beats boot camping!