Marion from Affection for Fitness http://affectionforfitness.blogspot.com/ often talks about her fitness buddies in such a positive light that it has me wanting some fitness buddies of my own. Today I set out on this mission and discovered I am way too shy when I plan ahead.
Gym Buddy #1
There is this older gentleman at the gym who speed walks around the track faster than I ever could. I even tried today. He is in his 70s at least and I am 29, but he makes my day when I go to the gym. He is the most unlikely of gym buddies due to age, choice of fitness activities, and my inability to identify with his choice to wear gym clothing that is full of holes that expose his bare skin. But, he is one of the sweetest men I know and I don't even know his name. I've been away from the gym for a few weeks and he makes a point of asking my husband how I'm doing and where I'm at when I don't arrive at the gym on Sunday mornings. When I arrived to today he announced "Oh, the boss is back!" and asked me why I wasn't at work. mY long-time friends can't keep my work schedule straight so I don't know how he manages to remember I work long days on the weekend. He always makes me smile, he chats it up with anybody who makes eye contact with him as he whizzes by, and I love that he is a talk and walk kind of guy. He is not there to be distracted from his workout, nor is he there to distract you from yours. He just wants to brighten your day.
Gym Buddy #2
The lady at the front counter that knows my husband from karate as he used to or still does teach both her boys at karate. I don't know her name either (this is a theme with my gym buddies). She is always happy and smiling at the front counter and chatting it up with the patrons. She asks how things are going in a general sense and that is enough for me to feel like I am noticed and appreciated for coming. It is a stark contrast to the grouchy lady at the front counter that is always talking stern to clients.
Gym Buddy #3
This is a collection of one of interactions that brings me to my goal of making deeper connections that lead to gym buddiness. I make it a point to smile at other people, compliment, and connect as I make my way through the gym. If I see you do 20 pull-ups because I literally stopped my wandering eyes to watch you it looked so impressive I am going to tell you that. I like to see you smile and think "Yep, I'm good!". If I see you lying in a puddle of sweat on the floor or hear you grunting as you complete a crunch I am going to feel your pain and tell you I know how tough that can be or that I don't envy you right now. I like to hear you chuckle and see you get back to work. These are the people that I get inspiration from and want to chat with more frequently and more in depth. It has become my goal to do so over the next month.
Potential Gym Buddy #4
These are the people that I see often at the gym and some of which I know by name from our elementary school days. These are the people that connections should be easier to make, but I am more intimidated to do so. But, they could also be the most rewarding as the connections could extend beyond the gym. I'm working up to these ones.
I also think it is important to realize what I don't want in a gym buddy. Like Marion I want to be the boss of myself. I do not need a gym buddy that is going to tell me how to do my workouts. I have a trainer that I pay to set those up for me. I also don't want a buddy that I have encourage to workout as that is a challenge enough for me to do for myself. Buddies that stop working out to chat at length are also not good for me as I distract easily and then lose my motivation to keep my workout going. I also spend as little time in the chageroom as possible as I just don't get other people's comfortableness with chatting to each other naked. So - a good buddy for me is someone who greets me, takes notice of what I'm doind on occasion, and offers advice. He/She will also appreciate getting compliments on progress and want to chat about what new gym things they've tried lately.
Now...to find said gym buddies.