Friday, January 25, 2013

Fitness Friday - Group Therapy

I flew solo for almost all of my previous attempts to achieve some acceptable level of fitness. Just me. For years. All by myself. Without any encouragement, participation, or outside influence.

I changed that. Started doing group classes. Spin, mainly. And entry level triathlon training. There is more energy when more people are involved. I could push myself to improve by imitating people with better skills and techniques than myself. I could feel inspired. And, on rare occasion, I could help encourage somebody else, or provide them with a few words of support.

After getting used to group classes at the gym, I found groups of other people training in the community. Mostly based around the local fitness supply shop. They were all good, friendly folks. I integrated with them. I was never the best at anything, but sometimes I wasn't the worst. I picked up tips. Picked up motivation. Received support on training programs. Heard about other events. Made some friends. And generally turned "training" into a more social event. Now, it is extremely rare that I go to an event without seeing a familiar face. And almost every weekend I'm always getting invited to different events or training sessions.

Nowadays, working with groups is critical to my training and my fitness. It is simultaneously fun, challenging, and developmental. For people stuck in a routine, looking for something to take them to a new level, I'd highly recommend some kind of group therapy. And try DIFFERENT groups if the first one doesn't work. It may take multiple attempts before a good match is found. But once it works, it works great!
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