And every 6 months since losing that initial weight many years ago, I would again hire a trainer to change up my program.
I’ve always been the solo workout type. Just teach me what I need to do…and I will do it!
Working out, for me, is not about losing weight. It’s about being strong, fit, and healthy. It’s also an incredible stress reliever. And yes, I’m a bit addicted to that endorphin rush.
It wasn’t until about a year ago that I began to recognize the benefits of the “we” approach to training. I was at the gym, doing my thing, when this ridiculously ripped gentleman named Joel said “hello”.
You see I can’t stand “gym talkers” so I pretty much ignore most people, aside from obeying the usual gym etiquette and politeness. I just want to get in, get it done, and get on with my day!
But Joel was different. He was intensely focused on his workouts. I also noticed how he made time to offer workout suggestions and help to others at the gym.
I asked him about the young girl, driven by her dad, every morning to the gym at 5am. He was motivating her and giving her tips for maximizing her workout.
The girl turned out to be Casie Cathrea, one of the golf world’s most talented young golfers! You may have seen her wild pants and gorgeous swing during the Ryder Cup this year.
A few days passed, and when I showed up at the gym I noticed Joel in the corner riding “my bike”. So I decided to return his polite “hello”. And that’s when I noticed him spinning it out in gear 6. I harassed him a bit knowing his incredible strength could stand for a challenge. So we rolled another bike out of the cycle studio…and the rest is history. A painful but enjoyable one!
We started cycling together a few mornings a week, and Casie joined us. I pushed them hard on the bike. And soon Joel was teaching me how to crush my arms and shoulders with free weights…a weaker area for me.
Joel asked me why I was training so hard one morning while we were cycling. I told him I wanted a road bike and I that I had a goal of rocking a century ride. And just a few weeks after we started training and motivating each other…I bought my bike. And just a month after that…I rocked not one, but 2 century rides in the same week.
And then, of course, Joel asked…”So what’s next?” I said I had been thinking about the ultimate physical and mental challenge…an Ironman. But I also fessed up that I couldn’t run.
I explained that not only do I get shin splints, but I just can’t run continuously. I went on and on about how I’m easily winded by running. Oh…and I look like Phoebe on Friends when she runs through Central Park. (awkward)
Joel ignored my excuses and the following day persuaded me to try run-walk intervals. Those intervals soon became progressive sprints…and the sprints turned into timed 5Ks.
Shortly after completing my first ½ marathon I realized the true benefit to training with others.
Relying on “me” keeps things simple and focused…yes. But it wasn’t exposing me to the things I never thought possible.
I still enjoy getting in my own head and crushing my solo workouts. But mixing in running with Joel, riding outdoors with my bestie Julie, kettlebells with the toughest trainer in town (Eric), and now training with my IronTeam…make me even more motivated and inspired to reach for incredible goals.
If you give something all your focus and effort…you WILL be strong and you CAN complete it. But if you share your strengths with others and allow their abilities to feed you…there is NO LIMIT to what you can do!