Left to right: Me and Jenny, Erica and Julia
Maybe it's because I started this whole exercise thing later in my life. Maybe it's because when I finally DID start working out, I joined a small group workout. All I know is that I much prefer to exercise with a friend or two. I'm sure that many people are so busy that they're trying to squeeze in workouts whenever they can, and don't give two hoots about having someone to sweat alongside with, but I am lucky in that I have the luxury of getting to plan and choose my workouts without time constraints (of course, weather is a completely different story), and I choose to do most of them when my workout accountabilibuddies* are available.
I think accountabilibuddy is the perfect term for my workout friends. Having someone who is willing to meet me at a set time to run has been a huge factor in my successful transformation from couch-sitter to someone who actually works out on a regular basis. I can't ignore the alarm and go back to sleep when I know Erica is coming over to run, or I'm meeting Jenny at the park. Last summer, when my running club had hill workouts scheduled at 5:30 am on Tuesdays, I was shocked to see how many people actually showed up - but then again, knowing that others are going to be there, and are waiting for you, helps me to keep my commitment, and obviously others felt the same way.
The other awesome thing about having a steady workout partner is falling right into conversation with them, even if I only see them once a week. We practically pick up right where we left off. It feels very easy to talk openly with someone when you are running side-by-side, and I can't tell you how many times we've not only solved our problems, but the world's as well. Plus, there's the whole "suffering together" thing that unites you so well...and also the satisfaction of getting through a run together. I know for a fact there are many of my runs that wouldn't have happened, had it not been for my accountabilibuddies.
Now, I've had some workout partners come and go - sometimes, things just don't mesh either schedule-wise, or goal-wise, and that's OK...the key of having an accoutabilibuddy for me is one of mutual support. And if I can't do for them what they are doing for me, then it's OK to move on.
While I have several accountabilibuddies in real life, I also think of you, my readers, as my accountabilibuddies. Knowing that I'll be reporting in here has kept me going some days when I'd really rather revert to my old couch-sitting self. If you are struggling with getting your workouts in, maybe finding an accountabilibuddy might help - I highly recommend it!
*thanks to South Park for coining this term.