The Buddy System

I’m on vacation with my family at the Gulf this weekend and this morning my son and I walked about a mile to the beach and as we were wrapping up we saw a group of people doing what looked to be a boot camp led by what sounded like a wannabe Drill Sargent.  Now keep in mind it is a gorgeous Saturday morning at the beach.  76 degrees.  Sunny.  Did I mention gorgeous?  Why would they choose to do that instead of watch the sunset while sipping a cup of coffee on the pier?  As I watch them I’m reminded how I got started on this little Journey – group fitness.

I started at a small (Lisa would kill me for saying this but expensive) gym that only does classes about three years ago – The Body Bar.  Those classes would kill me.  It was the hardest I had worked out since college – dripping sweat – but I loved the results, and I loved the community. A group of girls meeting every night with a common goal: to make themselves better.  They would miss you when you hadn’t been in a while.  They laughed with (at) you when you got extra creative with a Zumba song. Your instructor knew which songs were your favorite.  They even let your kid hit the bag a few times at the end of kickboxing class if he’d been really good on the sidelines while I worked out.  The yoga instructor would look the other way as tears rolled down my face during a reflective moment after she recited a quote that touched me. I was going through a tough time and those girls were there for me even though they had no idea what was going on with me.

I continue with classes today only I am on a tight budget so I go to LA Fitness.  It’s not the same but it’s better than the treadmill to me.  I still love the energy of a class.  Being around other people working hard to make themselves better.  They could be anywhere else in that moment, but they are there sweating and grunting and struggling right beside me with the same Step routine or spin class.  I have a few girlfriends that I workout with that also have memberships there so we keep each other accountable.  I don’t think any of us could do it without each other.

As my son and I walk the mile back from the beach, here comes the group of boot campers with two very fit, shirtless men leading the pack. When I point them out to B, he starts running with those two men in the front.  Now my son, B, is not a runner and at this juncture he doesn’t even have on any shoes, but none of that matters to him. He sees some inspiring people that are having fun and getting fit like he’s seen his mom do and he wants in on the action.  Wearing a huge grin, runs for a few blocks by their side.  By the time I catch up with him, he’s still in the jolliest of moods.  Apparently B, like his mother, feeds off that positive energy too.

I couldn’t do it without my buddies, especially my shortest buddy.

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Below is my rockstar dad and I before we walked a 5k with B Thursday night. He’s not ready to run one, but I like to still do them with him in hopes that he gets the running bug like my dad and sister.  He might just be like me though and just not have a palette for it, which is fine with me but I like to expose him to it just in case that’s his thing. Kind of like broccoli – it might take a few times but he’ll realize it’s not all that bad considering how good it is for you.

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