When it comes to sticking to a workout routine, environment can mean everything. Since we spend so much of our waking hours at work, I spoke with a few people who benefited, physically or otherwise, from having a workout buddy at the office.
Sarah and Kevin
Confidence. They met at work and eventually fell in love. Although that’s not how it always turns out, Sarah and Kevin shared a mutual love of running marathons, which eventually made them realize that there was more between them than just a friendship. Above all, however, Sarah said that she and Kevin felt confident in each other’s company when they were training for a race. While encouraging each other to “Beat your best time!” or “Go one more mile!”, they practiced feeling confident in each other’s presence, which built a solid foundation for a satisfying relationship.
Raquel and Lisa
Support. The two had been coworkers and friends for five years when out of the blue, Raquel told Lisa that she wanted to train for a fitness show. So when she shared her decision with Lisa, it was she who encouraged Raquel to go all the way. At lunch they would train at their company’s gym (they were fortunate to have this at their disposal) and six months later, the friends were preparing Raquel for her first fitness show. Had they not met at work all those years ago, neither woman would have felt the journey had been as satisfying as it was. “It was great to have my friend there at work and afterwards for support,” said Raquel.
Judy and Petra
Goal setting. They became instant friends the first day on the job as junior advertising executives in the late 1990s. Today, working at the same ad firm, Judy and Petra will become first-time mothers right around the same time. Expecting their first babies within weeks of each other this fall, these long-time friends have shared everything from clients to boardroom war stories to gossip at the water cooler. “It was only logical we’d share our pregnancies together,” Petra told me, “I mean, we had a mutual goal of having fit pregnancies, so setting a goal to take walks at lunch every day seemed possible. The odd time we’d hit up a pre-natal yoga class, but usually we’d take our walks and talk. I’ll never forget these times.”
In addition to the convenience of working out with our colleagues (after all, you see them every day) there’s also a sense of community built into the process of working out alongside the people we work with. These stories are just three examples of how investing in work friendships through fitness can pay off in a big way, both physically and emotionally.
Do you work out with coworkers – what’s your story?