Chances are, if you’re not living a fit life, you’re surrounded by family and friends who aren’t either. Don’t worry, that’s normal…
Unfortunately, it’s really hard to take the “grab a gym buddy to get motivated” advice seriously when you have no one in your phone book who will willingly fill that role. Again… don’t worry, that’s normal…
So, what gives then?! Here you are, in a position of wanting and needing a healthy change but the people you’re surrounded by day and night are shoveling fast food down your throat and advocating TV marathons instead of long walks and weight training. The solution? Put your big girl panties on and get out there to meet new people.
As the saying goes, “make new friends, but keep the old… one is silver and the other gold.” Your friends and family will always be your golden grounders. However, if you’re serious about making a change, this is a big part of the process. You must must must begin to find a fit life community that you can call home… somewhere you WANT to go before/after a long day… people you WANT to see and make plans with…. activities you WANT to do and make you hungry for more. At first, it’s hard…. it’s really hard. Walking into the gym all alone or attending your first group workout in town is intimidating and feeling like a fat flailing flamingo definitely doesn’t help. Aaaagggaiiinnn, don’t worry, that’s normal…
There’s no easy remedy. The tough luck answer is grow a pair, swallow your nerves and extend yourself to shake a new hand with a smile. Here’s some ideas to get you started!
The Gym Scene
Joining a gym and pumping away on the elliptical won’t necessarily create an instant connection with new fitness friends. Utilize the gym’s resources like a training session with a Personal Trainer to get you going. Not only do most gyms have a promotional 1st training session offer, but those guys know A LOT of people at their gym… they’ll help you feel more comfortable and confident with your workout, and they can help introduce you to new faces. Don’t be afraid to tell them you want to meet more regulars there. Let them know when your best times will be to hit the weights so they can introduce you to someone who is also around at that time. Don’t make friends right away?? DON’T STOP GOING! Make sure you say hi to your trainer whenever you see them and take note of people you see working out when you’re there. Over time, you will meet people and you will find yourself more and more excited to get your workout in when familiar faces are around.
In an attempt to meet new people and run on a regular basis, I started attending Dog Haus Running Club in Pasadena. Every Tuesday, I go straight from work and run the 3.1 mile course around town. Since I’m terrible at motivating myself to run (or to run without stopping), the running club is perfect for me – the course is set, everyone around me is also running and it’s at the same time and the same place every week. Dog Haus Running Club, an affiliate of FFP Running Clubs is even MORE bad ass because it’s teamed up with Dog Haus Biergarten which means runners get happy hour all night long and have a consistent home base. In addition to making tons of new friends, I’ve now reached a point where “non running club friends” also come join the fun. After checking in enough times on Facebook, posting fun pictures online and telling people I can’t make other plans with them on Tuesday nights, friends began to ask if they could come too. One of my oldest and dearest friends who I never see enough and used to get regular happy hour drinks with is now joining me most Tuesday nights – we catch up on a more consistent basis AND get a great workout in… WIN WIN!
Getting involved with more specialty studios like CrossFit, barre, dance, yoga, cycling/spinning, boxing and beyond are the perfect places to create your new fit family. These places are full of regulars who are dedicated to their workout and jump at the opportunity to welcome a newcomer. Introduce yourself and commit to getting more involved. Eat, sleep, breathe your new studio or gym like there’s no tomorrow!!
Free Fit Clubs
Most cities are overflowing with free fit clubs like the Rose Bowl Fit Club in Pasadena. These are groups that get together on a weekly basis to do a free workout as a team. They give you the workout so you don’t have to spend time planning one for yourself, they give you the location so you don’t have to think about where you’ll go, and there’s no excuse that you can’t afford it! Most free fit clubs also have affiliates in other cities so you can go explore if you’re in the mood and down for an adventure!!
…Your new fitness family is waiting…
GET GOING ALREADY!!