Well Being

30 By 30: Finding A Gym Buddy Worked Wonders For My Workout Motivation

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two girlfriends at the gym together

I am the most social person I know. I love people, I love friends, I love activities. I don’t like missing out on things—and the gym is the number one reason I miss out. Which is why I've recruited … a gym buddy. Well, another one. And it's the best.

Over the years, I’ve worked out every which way – solo machines, group classes, partner yoga and good old-fashioned gym buddy workouts. Remember those days in high school, where you and a friend would put on your cutest Umbros and sports bras and “workout”—aka walk around the track and check out boys? Those were the days. Unhindered by jobs and bills and happy hours, we had endless afternoons to chat with our friends while “exercising.”

In college it was more or less the same for me. I went to Louisiana State University, where it’s beautiful year round and my roommates and I spent countless hours running walking around the lakes and gossiping about all things co-ed.

But when I moved to New York City, I fell quickly into the habits of late work nights and Thai takeout. Even though I was walking everywhere, it wasn’t enough.

I wanted to join a gym in the city, but I had visions of supermodels and athletes populating the fancy classes; I would definitely not fit in. When my neighbor decided to move her runs inside and join a gym, I was so excited to have a partner in crime that I hitched my wagon to hers and signed up, too.

My gym buddy and I joined Crunch in the spring of 2008, with promises of daily workouts and exciting gym adventures. I actually fell in love with Crunch and with real exercise; unfortunately, my gym buddy did not.

So working out became a solo thing. Me and the machines. Me in the middle of a new class, knowing no one. Me watching my stories while spending two hours solo on the treadmill at night.

Then my friend Janice moved here. She and I would wake up every morning and meet at Crunch Kips Bay for our daily workout. We’d choose our class schedule for the week and stick to it. We would catch up on the treadmill, laugh in the locker room about our fellow spinners, share tips after class on yoga poses and generally just challenge and motivate each other to get our butts to the gym. It was the best thing I ever took for granted.

Eventually it dawned on me, though: Working out really is better when someone is there with you.

My schedule is currently all over the place, and I rarely do the same gym schedule two weeks in a row. But a few weeks ago I convinced my friend Julia to join Equinox with me. I have a gym buddy again! Julia takes advantage of all the perks I never paid attention to, like the steam room and the cucumber towels. We go after work or in the morning and suffer through together, knowing that someone else is in the fight with us. And afterwards, we gossip in the steam room as our daily problems melt away.

I'm so happy about it. I can definitely work out on my own, but having a friend makes it so much better. What about you? I’d love to hear: Do you prefer to work out solo or with friends?


High/Low – It’s been two weeks of up and downs both personally and professionally. My brand new Weight Watcher’s center closed, there was some terrible things on the job front, I celebrated at a bachelorette weekend with a bestie. Unfortunately, the scale has fluctuated with the bad days and despite a juice cleanse thrown in there, I’ve gained weight over the past 2 weeks.

+/-: +5 TOTAL = -0 lbs. Back where I began in January – so frustrating.