Just about every close friendship I’ve made in the last few years of my life has started because of a shared interest in fitness. One of my running buddies – the one with whom I’m most evenly matched, pace-wise, when we go out for our long runs – came to my wedding in Hawaii two years ago. (No, we didn’t run there – but we should have!) Another good friend is a way more talented runner than I am, but we still figure out how to get in a few miles together now and then when she needs an easier workout.
Fitness attracts a cool crowd. It’s not a solitary endeavor by any means, despite the image of my primary sport as a lone person’s effort. Yes, distance running takes a little while. And a lot of us who love that particular sport do our best thinking and problem solving when we’re by ourselves.
But we still make time to run with others. Or take a spinning class. Or Zumba. Or whatever else floats our boat on any particular day. We show up. It’s one of the things I’m most thankful for in this Gratitude Week at Every48. When you decide you want to get more active, you are going to find friends. That is all.
I’ll write more about this in December…but there’s another aspect of the “group” that I love about fitness. I love that there’s a tribe of people out there who live their message and write and speak eloquently about it, because it lifts us up when we’re in a little bit of a down period. (We all have them, make no mistake.) I’ve been dealing with the aftereffects of a shoulder injury and feeling a bit apprehensive about running recently (because the injury happened as the result of a fall when I was on a run last month).
So last night I picked up one of my favorite kick-butt, take-no-prisoners, you-badass-you-just-get-out-there-and-show-up fitness and health books, Younger Next Year for Women, and I felt my mojo coming back with every sentence. (Don’t let the “for women” part of the title fool you; it’s a badass book for everyone, with completely relevant health information no matter what your gender or age.)
The authors, Chris Crowley and Harry Lodge, are a little more badass than I’ve been this year at Every48 about the frequency of exercise: they recommend six days a week, forty-five minutes at a time – four cardio workouts and two strength workouts. Which is pretty badass. But it’s also the magic elixir that staves off just about all of the outward signs of aging for, like, decades. (Crowley is living proof of this stuff – read the book to hear more about his physical exploits in the over-70 age category.)
So I like these guys. And they’re part of the tribe. The tribe of fit folks and getting-there folks who make fitness a part of their lives, and by extension, a part of their social life as well.
Much more to come in December on the writers and thinkers who get me moving when I don’t want to get moving…and on looking back on a year of movement, every 48 hours (give or take), no matter what.
Have a great holiday weekend.