The topic for this week’s Fitness Blog World post is “How has fitness changes your relationship?” Definitely an interesting question. Everything we do affects at least our closest relationships, right?
I have read other posts from fitness/weight loss bloggers about how in their quest to lose weight, become fit, and live and active and healthy life they have had to leave behind friends or even family who were not supportive. I admire their strength and dedication to their goals but at the same time it makes me sad. The loss of friendship, for any reason, is a terrible thing.
That’s my opinion at least. I mourn the loss of friendship even when I know it is for the best. Maybe that is because I have been truly blessed with friends that better my life. Not all of them mind you, but most of them are fun, smart, happy people who make me love my life no matter what else is going on. We have our drama and our problems but in the end I think they do me much more good than harm. This makes it unfortunate when the friendship is no longer there.
That doesn’t mean my friendship haven’t been changed by my lifestyle. Here’s a few ways they have:
1) The training buddy
In 2008 I decided to train for my first sprint triathlon and had some serious trouble finding the motivation. After a couple months spent watching me find excuses and slack off my awesome friend and roommate, Steve, decided to start training with me. Turns out it’s a lot easier to go work out when you don’t have to watch your roommate hang out on the couch looking all comfortable! Then, since he was doing the training anyway he ran that first triathlon with me.
Since then we’ve done other sprint tris, a couple of week-long bike trips across Iowa (RAGBRAI!), and several running events both together and apart. We train together as much as our schedules allow and keep each other on track. This is the best change by far. A training partner can be invaluable!
2) The Dabblers
In the past year I’ve had several friends start dabbling in fitness, training, and events. One went from barely running to run/walking a half marathon this past spring. A few more signed up for the Disney half marathon with me. Others have started doing the Couch to 5k program or running on their own. I got to do a 5k with a few of them this year and it was fun to see more faces in the group that I knew.
I get excited any time a friend shows an interest in this kind of thing (who wouldn’t?!) but I’ve realized that I have to be careful with this group. I tend to be a little overpowering with my excitement and get disappointed if their efforts fall through. I need to be better about this because the last thing I want to do is make them feel bad so they don’t want to try again. I know better than anyone that life and lack of motivation can get in the way of fitness plans. I need to be the encouraging voice urging them to try again.
3) New Friends
Through a local triathlon club I’ve managed to make a couple of good new friends with similar interests. Also through my volleyball and softball leagues. You can never have too many!
4) Social Life
Workouts and trying to eat healthy do tend to get in the way of a hearty social life. I sometimes have to turn down invites or activites because I need to fit in a run and I just can’t do both. Sometimes I don’t eat out because I want to be healthier and it’s hard when everyone else is having fried appetizers. I remember back when I used to work out after work every day like clockwork, a friend commented “well, if we want Steph to join us then we can’t do anything before 7 PM”. At least they knew!
All in all I’ve been very lucky to have my relationships change primarily for the better as I have adopted a healthier, more active lifestyle. My friends deserve a lot of gratitude for being supportive!
How have YOUR relationships changed?