December 10, 2015

A Compliment From My Treadmill Buddy

This morning, I was kind of tired, but still headed to my usual 6:15am Orangetheory Fitness class. There wasn’t anything groundbreaking about the workout, but I was pretty happy with the speeds I was achieving on the treadmill. For example, a three minute push pace at 9.0mph (6:40/mile) was hard but doable (twice!). I think I am definitely getting in a lot better shape since I started going to classes there, and it’s probably time for me to consider shelling out for more expensive classes when my package from last year runs out next week. #WorthIt

But what made the workout extra awesome was an encouraging boost from my treadmill neighbor as the workout ended.

Her: “Do you play sports?”
Me: “No, not really… just this.”
Her: ‘You’re really fast!”
And: day made.

This is what I love most of all about group classes – when your fellow classmates are supportive of each other, and you build up a kind of class camaraderie. Sure, running all-out intervals at 10% incline sucks, but I find that it sucks a lot less when I look to my treadmill neighbor and we both groan and then smile at each other after the instructor has announced the next hellish round we’ll be doing. Even if we don’t exchange names or actually get to know each other, it’s fun to feel like you’re not alone in struggling, pushing hard, and somehow making it through till the end of the class.

Treadmill Racing
Which isn’t to say I’m not also sneaking peeks at their screen and racing them even as we’re commiserating and making friends.

Orangetheory has been a bit hit-or-miss for me on the camaraderie front, probably in part because I’ve been attending so many different studios rather than sticking to one religiously, so I don’t see the same people very often. Flywheel Texas is the studio where I felt the most camaraderie, and I can say without a doubt that the people were the main reason I liked it so much and went so often. I am not super into spinning, but the amazing atmosphere reeled me in and kept me coming back for more!

Flywheel Texas Reunion
One of my favorite Flywheel Texas instructors, Thomas. He always makes the studio feel incredibly welcoming!

On the flip side, pretty much all the barre studios I’ve attended have been examples of studios where I’ve felt the least camaraderie. Sorry, barre lovers, but I just do not feel very welcome at Pure Barre / Bar Method / etc – I just feel judged that I’m not stick thin and wearing the latest all-Lululemon coordinated outfit. I like barre itself but if I feel like that type of workout, I’d rather stick to DVDs at home!

While Orangetheory isn’t always my pick-me-up the way Flywheel used to be, today, the compliment that my treadmill neighbor paid me was probably the highlight of what was otherwise a somewhat stressful day. Who knew that such a little comment could make such a big difference?!

This time of year, we focus a lot on giving things to other people, even as we talk about getting in the holiday spirit.  There are tons of ways you can help the less fortunate, and I think a part of everyone’s holiday season should be some sort of donations and/or volunteering your time to help. But in addition to that, what about making a conscious effort to make someone’s day a little brighter?

As small a gesture as it may be, that meant a lot to me when my treadmill neighbor offered up her compliment to me at the end of class. I think to pay the goodwill of my treadmill neighbor forward, I’m going to start making an effort to connect with and compliment at least one person in every group fitness class I attend between now and the end of the year. I work out daily, and having such a specific time makes this easy to remember… so there’s no excuse for me not to do so.

Join me?


8 thoughts on “A Compliment From My Treadmill Buddy”

  1. Awww, I love my Pure Barre studio! And they definitely don’t judge or discriminate. But I do wear all lulu when I am there but I am def not super thin.

    1. It’s totally broad brush comment that may just reflect the studios I’ve visited (mostly in NYC), but I always felt really out-of-place there 🙁

  2. I still haven’t tried Orangetheory, but with the sprinting, I know I need to wait until my leg is fully healed, which may be some time in the spring 🙁
    I think because I’m a natural introvert, I’m okay going to classes and keeping to myself. Sure, I’d love to make friends, but I’m an awkward turtle and it’s so scary for me to strike up conversation.

    1. Hopefully I don’t bother anyone if I try to start a conversation and they’re not having it!

      Now I am *extra* looking forward to when your leg is healed, because I want to see what you think of Orangetheory 😉

  3. Another of my fav quotes from Maya Angelou — ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Those are words to live by, and your “old year’s resolution” is the perfect way to see out 2015! 🙂

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