Posted by Roger, a contributor to this blog.
The alarm goes off at 4:30 and my wife tells me it is time to get up for boot camp. Luckily I already have my gym bag packed and workout clothes laid out so I can move a little bit slowly. I get out of bed and get dressed while she goes back to sleep for another 20 minutes. Then, still slightly bleary-eyed, I head out alone, both of us disappointed that she still isn’t physically ready to return to class.
Sharon and I actually met in a stereotypical ’80′s story, that of the aerobic instructor and the class participant. The only twist to this story is that I was the instructor and she was the participant. Must have been those ’80′s short shorts. Anyways, it was this early dedication to physical well-being that brought us together and it is something that we continue to share to this day.
As a married couple, working out together has been an excellent way to keep ourselves on track. We help keep each other accountable. When one person is tired and just doesn’t seem to have it that day, the other can help push them. Or when we both feel tired, guilt often gets the best of one of us, which works just as well.
“Dang, so tired tonight. Maybe we can skip working out.”
“Me too, let’s just take it easy and we’ll go tomorrow.”
“Uh, we really should just go. We’ll feel better after.”
“Ok, if you say so. Let’s go.” Sometimes that is all the motivation you need.
Sharon and I have also found that working out together is a very nice way to support each other. Whether it is helping each other with food choices, encouraging each other as we reach little benchmarks, or sharing new tips or techniques that we have discovered, we encourage, inspire and learn together.
As the years go by in a marriage, children often come along and they often tend to dominate your conversations. We are no different in that respect. Our children are our primary focus, as we believe they should be, but we also need other outlets. One of our children is a special needs child so we often have additional stress to deal with. Exercising is a good outlet for that stress. When we go to boot camp we find that on our way we discuss what might be happening that day (chariots or hill anybody?) and on the way home we discuss what we did, usually with the windows wide open since I am a stinky mess by that time. It gives us something else to think and talk about other than children and work. It’s fun to talk about how we did after each session as we often have very different experiences. Since we are often paired with someone of similar abilities, it is highly unlikely we went through class together. This summer there seem to be many more couples which I am very happy to see.
As I drive to boot camp alone, I am hoping Sharon can return soon. I tell her all about class but it is obviously not the same as being there. I know she misses the challenges boot camp provides as well as the camaraderie of the other campers. Mostly, though, after 20 plus years of working out together, we both miss the benefits that working out together has provided us.
Have a good one.