Fast Friends for Fitness
They say nurturing friendships is integral to our overall health. I say seek out friendships where you exercise together and the healthy upshot is positively synergistic. For all the times you think you don’t have time or the energy, or you will do it later (then not do it all), your workout mates stand like beacons of happy exercise commitment. Bailing on oneself is (sadly) always an option. Bailing on a friend is not.
I met my running mates during a half marathon training clinic I offered in 2008. We trained together for 4 months, became fast friends and ran together for another 4 years goal setting with various ½ marathons. We trained hard for these events (you can’t fake 21 km). But really – if truth be told – it was less about the half marathon, and more about the road trip, shopping, the pre-run yoga, the nice dinner out complete with wine and dessert. It was mostly about the laughing that came with all of this.
Sunday morning training was our own kind of worship, a date we worked hard to maintain for ourselves and for each other. With running gear adjusted, water bottles filled we were out the door and the conversation flowed interrupted only by the Bowen hills we love to hate. The mileage slipped by as we sorted through the good, the bad and ugly of the last week. We see the positives in each other, something we can’t always find in ourselves. We keep the good stuff, and try and drop the ugly behind us like mud off our sneakers. Blissfully exhausted, we wind up our run with a stretch and tee-up for the following Sunday knowing that if we didn’t get our mid-week solo runs in, the next Sunday would feel less like a social event and more like work. And then it’s not fun.
Due to life’s complications, our running dates have dwindled over the last few years, but our friendship has not. I am grateful for this and dream of one day completing another ½ marathon where the main event is less about running and more about friendship.