It is always good to have a friend. But having a fitness friend to help push you and hold you accountable is even a bigger bonus.
For many, when getting started in endurance sports it can be intimidating to workout with others because others may have been at it for a few years, or may be faster than you. But it is important to remember at some point in our life, we started from the beginning too. That is something I have never let myself forget.
Fitness comes in all shapes and sizes, strengths and movement abilities. There are an endless array of physical sports which one can participate. While I chose endurance sports, which usually requires long hours alone with myself, I have always found it more enjoyable with friends. It doesn't mean you have to workout with them, but can go to races, compare training notes, have a coffee (or a beer) and share Racing Stories with each other. It is nice to find extra motivation and support from your fitness friends.
As intimidating as stepping into a new sport might be, having that friend or group of will help ease all the anxiety of training and how you progress, to how to approach your first race and what gear you might need. It is worth opening yourself up to putting yourself out there and being a little vulnerable in the beginning. As a coach and athlete I have always took the approach 'Never forget' and 'I want everyone to have the same amazing experience I did when I first started because it changed my life forever in the most amazing way.' Neither of those things would have happened had it not been for now one of my very best friends in the world. She made everything that seemed impossible, hard and scary doable. She gave me confidence and helped me find a mental and physical strength I never knew I had in me. (including - taking a dive into Lake Michigan in the middle of winter with snow on the ground...pictured above)
I have raced on teams and made friends. I have travelled with friends around the world and done races. I have made friends with clients and do my training workouts with them. I have made friends at races from all over the world. I have made friends in races who have helped me push me through to victories and held me up at the end of a race.
Whether it is a training buddy, a friend for coffee talk, or racing partner, a Fitness Friend is always a priceless friend to have.