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My Gym Buddy

I consider myself pretty darn lucky. My gym is the best in the city and is just a 5-minute walk from work. On top of that, my gym buddy is the best in the city, and she also happens to work with me. I’m lucky because it’s so hard to find any good reason to skip workouts.

Around 11 a.m. at work each day, other co-workers start asking around for lunch ideas. Will it be burgers today? Maybe Wendy’s? Around the same time, Jess and I start asking each other about our gym plans. Swim today? Spin class? Cardio?

We’re good gym buddies for a couple of reasons. Both of us are avid brown baggers and are perfectly fine with eating at our desks when we get back from WAC. So we don’t spend our lunch hour waiting for a Jimmy John’s delivery or deciding where to eat. Number two, both of us are low maintenance. Neither of us spend much time on hair or makeup in the morning, so we have no problem with a mid day post-workout shower. So, it’s really the perfect gym buddyship.

Our gym time is always entertaining. We’ll occasionally attend Water Workout when we’re looking for something low-impact. That class is full of a lot of goofy movements, so it always makes us laugh. We’ll sometimes tag along on the other’s workout when we’re looking to switch it up. Jess is a much stronger and more efficient swimmer than I am, and once I allowed her to draft a swim interval workout for us. It was one of the most challenging 40 minutes of cardio I can remember. Or, we’ll try something new together. I discovered an iPhone app called Nike Training Club that’s kind of like a personal trainer. We tried one workout together, but spent quite of time trying to understand the exercises and locate the proper equipment. We finished with two of everything — two sets of dumbbells, two jump ropes, two medicine balls, and two whatever else — strewn all across the workout area. It was definitely another memorable workout!

Most days though, we walk to WAC together, but we don’t work out side by side. We don’t always want to do the same stuff, and we’re working on different fitness goals (Jess thinks I’m a moron for training for this marathon). But we can still motivate each other to put our lunch break to good use. It’s harder to spend your lunch hunched over Facebook when you know the other has her gym bag packed and ready to go.

Even when one of us can’t lunch at the gym, we hold each other accountable. We usually check in with each other the next day. “You’ll be happy to know that even though I didn’t go to the gym with you yesterday, I did work out when I got home,” Jess told me. I like to think that even though I wasn’t physically there to motivate her, I was still there somehow.

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Betsy Mikel | betsymikel.com

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