When I was 10 years old and about to start 5th grade, I was all about the sports (not much has changed since then…) and at my school, everyone who was anyone played on the A Team for volleyball in the Fall. Our school was very sports-centric and doing well in sports pretty much guaranteed you’d be well-liked among your peers. It was the night before volleyball tryouts and I received a phone call from one of my girlfriends. She wanted to know if I’d be interested in going out for the cross-country team instead (everyone was automatically on the team, no cuts) instead of volleyball. I didn’t realize that as I sat in our kitchen while Mrs. Obi-wan was cooking dinner that I’d be making a decision that would forever change and shape my life. “Sure,” I said. And I did.
I ran competitively for the next 8 years both in junior high and high school. I was good, but not great, and kept up with running as I went off to college. Running stayed with me when I moved to New York City and became my “thing” as I started my personal training career in Brooklyn. Who knew? I once asked Obi-wan if I trained for a marathon if he’d pay for my entrance fee (they were expensive to this college student!). He said yes and that he’d be there to watch me run it. Several years later, he and Mrs. Obi-wan, along with my older sister and longtime friend watched me run my first ING NYC Marathon. Fast forward 8 years and as many marathons and here I am.
All this happened because of an invitation to run from a friend.
When was the last time you invited a non-runner/yogi/gym friend to join you for a workout? Having grown up working out with Obi-wan and going to the gym with him, I never found myself uncomfortable walking into the vast open spaces littered with tortuous-looking machines and (almost exclusively) older men. But, I know that the most intimidating part of getting started with a workout routine is in fact walking into the gym. Unsure of where to go, what to do and what not to do, people marry themselves to a treadmill or an elliptical and never experience all of what a gym has to offer.
You could be a mentor to someone else. Sure, it’s great to hit the pavement with someone who is a seasoned athlete who can offer you a harder workout at a faster pace, but you could also be that someone for a friend or family member. Sometimes all people need to get started is an invitation and a buddy. That’s all I needed and look where I am now. Not everyone is a joiner, but most people want to start working out, they just don’t know how to do it. You could show them. You could be that mentor. You could be that change in their life.
So, invite a friend to workout with you. You might be surprised by their willingness to join you in a good sweat, especially if there’s a promise of brunch afterwards ;) What are you waiting for? Be the change you want to see in the world!
Now go out and run!
How did you get started working out? Was it via an invitation from someone else or were you the brave soul who hit the workouts solo and just rocked it? Tell me all about it!