Friday, December 9, 2011

Commitment

Initially I thought about entitling yesterdays post Commitment - but decided instead to go with Friends - which left Commitment for today.

I’ve been working out with Michael for around 6 months now. Before that I had worked out with perhaps 6 other people, one other for 6 months, and a number for shorter periods.

Each have taught me things - better ways to do exercises, or better ways to teach others how to do exercises, or, well, about a hundred other bits of wisdom. And each have made my workouts more pleasant, each have given me extra incentive to be at the gym each day.



Reality is I will be at the gym. Fortunately my track record supports this assertion, since I have missed very few week days over the last 30 or so years. None the less, it is a lot nicer working out with someone else - someone to notice when I do something a bit more difficult than previous, or applaud me when I do a few more reps on a hard exercise.

Funny in a way, Kelly, my wife, commented at one point that I always seem to find really nice people at the gym. In this world, so many people worry about problems with meeting strangers and being open with them. I suppose there are plenty of examples where trusting someone doesn’t work out - if in doubt, just watch the news, that is all the typical news program focuses on - the problems in the world. Hmmm - perhaps that is why I haven’t had a TV for 36 years.

One of the advantages of the exercises I do - my focus on core and balance - I sort of stand out at the gym. People notice I don’t do the same old same old that is the common focus. This “difference” engenders conversations and also results in people asking if they can try an exercise I am doing. This makes it pretty easy to recruit work out buds. In fact, about 6 months ago, Michael asked if he could try an abs exercise I was doing. Since then he has pretty much made every day possible with the exception of when he needed to study.

As an aside, I also want to mention a bit about how much Michael has improved in just 6 months. Not only is he gaining significantly in muscle volume and definition, but he is able to do so very much more - when he started working out with me he could do 10 pushups, but it was a struggle. Now he can do 20 push-ups with his hands on one basket ball and his feet on another. In fact, today he did 16 with his hands on one basket ball and only one foot on the other basket ball.

WOW.

One thing I do recommend if you start working out with someone - make it a rule that you each will tell the other if they can’t make it. That is no excuse for you not to show up, but it does keep you from looking for your partner and feeling frustrated.

Oh, one other thing, if you want people to want to work out with you, put in some real effort to always be upbeat. Always. No one wants to work out with a grouch. And, it is surprising how choosing to appear happy proves to be a self fulfilling prophecy!

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