I’m a loner, not a joiner.
I did a running group once. As soon as we hit our first goal, I was done. It’s too bad, that one. I met some genuinely lovely and motivating folks. But it wasn’t them; it was me. They all worked different schedules, ran different paces, and trained for different races. They could still somehow overcome all that and — just once a week — meet for a mid-distance mid-paced run followed by a quick restorative smoothie and chat session. Sounded so fun. I envied them.
Once time I was invited to join an all women’s riding group. Even though I didn’t really know anyone in the group, I knew exactly who they were. They had matching uniforms (denoting the Cool Girls since the dawn of time) and they rode their priceless carbon ponies screaming-fast through the morning commute on weekdays, winning triathlons, and out flattening the hill country on Saturday mornings. I didn’t even politely smile and nod at that invitation — they were WAY to good.
I finally joined a triathlon club last season and sported my matching uniform on shop rides and in races. I enjoyed team events, newsletters, and other perks, but never attended any group workouts. No way.If they saw how slow I wa, they might take away my matching outfit (and what’s next — ouster from the cafeteria table at lunch? I couldn’t.)
Now for the first time I’ve fallen in with some non-blobs for regular weekly training. Some folks from work ride twice a week outside during daylight savings. During the Dark Times they hit twice weekly spin classes. Even one of my closest non-blob non-triathlon buddies makes it a regular date. We know our teacher and he knows us. We check in each week – “See you at spinning?” And it’s actually growing into one of my preferred parts of training. Gives us all a time to catch up with each other, gives us some extra common ground, and gives us all an extra boot in the blob to actually make those mid-week workouts happen. I’m finally coming around to the idea of workout partners as motivators.
And we don’t even have matching outfits.