Have you ever met that couple who seems like they do literally everything together? The way they look at each other is pretty much the heart eyes emoji personified. Incredibly in sync and practically attached at the hip, they are somehow both equally precious and irritating. Guys, please don’t hate me. I think I might be in one of those relationships. Here’s the thing though, this wasn’t always the case. Like anything in life, relationships aren't always cut and dry. They can take time, effort and patience. Let’s start with a little background information: Boy manages a local pizza restaurant. Girl applies to the pizza restaurant and is hired by the aforementioned pizza boy. Girl leaves the job to work from home. Two years later they match on Tinder and the rest is history. It’s okay if you had to grab a tissue. It is truly a classic love story.
Meet Link: a man who can only be described as a gentle giant. He is an incredible cook, a collector of oddities and a vital part of my support system. Link and I started dating in 2016, a few months before I began changing my relationship with fitness. Though we were together about a year, we were never really in sync emotionally. Our communication styles are completely different and expressing ourselves was always a struggle. Difficulties with my mental health didn’t make these issues any easier. This ultimately resulted in a breakup lasting about six months. To keep a long story short, we each experienced individual growth during our time apart. We worked hard to figure out what we wanted from both ourselves and each other. We made important changes that have led to a healthier, more supportive relationship. Incorporating fitness into our lives as a couple is one of the monumental changes that has improved our relationship. This adjustment to our routine has made an extremely positive impact on our lives. When Link wanted to start living a healthier lifestyle, he came to me for support. We decided to try lifting together and have been doing so weekly ever since. Working out with Link is amazing. It has kept me more accountable, increased my motivation and strengthened our bond.
Keeping myself fully accountable with a workout routine isn’t always simple. After a tough day at work, the last thing I want to do is squat 30+ times with a heavy bar over my shoulders. When you’re working out on your own, making excuses for why you should avoid exercise is effortless. This is where having a partner around comes in handy. If one of us tries to avoid lifting with a perfectly crafted excuse, the other can usually dismantle it with ease. We aren’t afraid to call each other out and this has kept us on track with our lifting schedule. I find myself making fewer excuses and am more likely to complete my weekly routine.
Self-improvement revolves around pushing yourself to do our better than the day before. When you’re working out alone, it can be easy to plateau with your progress. This was especially the case for me with weightlifting. When Link is around, I am motivated to lift heavier, complete more reps and try new things. Seeing him improve both inspires me and pushes me to work harder. There is nothing I love more than my burly, tattooed boyfriend shouting, “YAS QUEEN!” when I add a rep or two to my bench press. Having an outside force pushing me to be better, makes anything seem possible.
Incorporating exercise into our routine as a couple has helped exercise feel like less of a chore and more like a date. I cherish the extra couple of hours we spend working on self-improvement together. Working out with Link has become something I look forward to every week. We’re able to joke around, boost each other’s confidence and build up our relationship, all while doing something that’s going to make us feel great about ourselves.
Here’s the best part though, you don’t necessarily need a significant other to reap these benefits. Just because I’ve chosen my boyfriend to be my workout partner in crime, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Whether you haven’t found your person yet or you’re just enjoying your life as a single lady, having a workout buddy is a fun way to mix up your exercise routine. It doesn’t matter if it’s your parent, sibling, best friend or someone you just met at the gym, having someone to keep you on track with your goals is so incredibly valuable. For years I refused to work out with other people for fear of looking stupid. I was afraid I would embarrass myself by doing an exercise incorrectly or getting way too sweaty (guys, I’m a very sweaty woman, don’t judge). Working out with Link has helped me realize that it’s okay to look ridiculous sometimes. Messing up around someone who makes me feel comfortable has made it easier to work out around strangers at the gym or during an exercise class. Finding someone to share my fitness journey with has not only boosted my confidence but, increased my accountability and motivation. I’m so glad I met that pizza boy years ago because he’s part of the reason I was able to transform into the warrior I am today. Everyone is on their own journey, but that doesn’t mean you have to conquer yours alone. Find someone to enjoy it with!