How my friends can come and take tons of pictures and yet I have none of us at the two yoga classes we attended together baffles me. Anyways, today is an exploration into the group dynamic and the benefits of playing with others. Now I am a known self competitors remember I’m the girl who times herself on her water meter route and races each month to beat that time devoid of any outside influence besides my own insanity. But sometimes when I’m by myself I’m just not in the mood. I’m wishy-washy about doing my kettlebells some days or my body (really my mind) rejects the thought of running. Exercising with others can be a great motivating, not only pushing me to do the workout, but to reach new heights and surpass limitations I thought I had. because, although I work on my thoughts and keep my ego in tow, we all have a little pride, an inner Rocky who likes to compete, a little voice wanting us to do our best (which actually screams in the group dynamic). I’ve seen/heard it at Body Change all the time. People loved it when we started turning our kettlebells into a class format. Struggling with the desire to do kettlebells at home, coming to class, being with others was the little push they needed. As Body Change tends to have a family vibe, we created an environment were there may be friendly jesting, but every one encourages one another. I think I always think of Missy Fagg on this one (never a cheerleader because she claims a lack of coordination) because she is always counting down and encouraging those beside her.
So group exercise, why do it?
- Obviously it gives you that extra push to work harder and do better than you may have on your own.
- Accountable, I would use impeccable here as well
- Social, gyms are a great place to meet people, especially people who have similar goals to you
Now something I’d like to add since I’m on a creative/energy flow kick is the importance of picking classes or workout partners. Just like others can push us to do better they can take us down as well. Find someone with similar goals, with a similar exercise level so you don’t get discouraged (or if this pushes you, as it is your future goal go for it just keep your head up and let it motivate you), someone uplifting. Going to yoga with my two friends we all went in as beginners, focused on our own practices and getting in the groove of what of bodies would allow, but feeling the presence of Tab and Shadow pushed me to make sure I was doing my best and not slacking off in the back of class skipping out and shorting myself of bicycles. We all walked away feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to do it again the next day, even though initially I was thinking ‘I don’t really want to go to yoga.’ I went with them and felt tremendously better and thankful that I’d gone. With kettlebells and in being with Dad I’ve also learned the value of another set of eyes. Kettlebells I’d always enjoyed as a solo venture, but it is important every once in a while (if not all the time) to have someone around. I can’t see myself doing a Turkish Get-Up. Sure I feel like I have stellar form, but that doesn’t mean my form is flawless (each workout is a practice session after all). I am not immune to forming bad habits- a little over rotation in my wrist, a little speed up on the drive down of my press out. Having someone there watching and pointing out my little flaws helps me become better (now I just have to master the art of not taking it personally when I’m being corrected).
Group exercise can be a fun motivator. Find a group or gym with people who push you and focus on doing your best!