Meet Shirley. Shirley is my Sweat Sister, or at least that's what we go by at our local gym. Shirley and I have been working out together 2-3 days a week, for over a year and a half. We keep each other accountable, with regular texts, and occasional jeering if we slack off in class.
Shirley has been a vital part of my fitness journey. I can depend on her being at PNF, ready to kill the WOD. She puts me to shame, attending five classes a week to my three. Shirley also may or may not be down a whole lotta pounds, 2% body fat, and 1.5" around her waist in just the last six months #beastmode
Recently, Shirl's husband got the bright idea of becoming snowbirds (what were you thinking, Ray?!). Shirley would be gone for 12 weeks *gasp*. I have to admit, I was a little mopey. Sure, I'd still commit to my weekly workout schedule but I knew it wasn't going to be the same. Shirley, too, was struggling with loneliness as she slogged through her solo workouts.
That all changed this week. Shirley and I decided to try a virtual workout session. We picked a workout we could complete at home (PopSugar Fitness is amazing for this, BTW), set a date and time, and got to work. I messaged Shirl a few minutes before and we both hit "play" at the same time.
The result? Honestly, I was a little surprised by the virtual workout buddy impact. Turns out, we both found our motivation! Was it the same as being at PNF together? Not quite. But it was a solid second. Knowing that Shirley was sweating right alongside me made me push myself, just like I do in an actual class. It also got me moving. Tuesdays are a day I struggle to make it to the gym but today, I got in an extra 153 calories and 1800 steps (thank you, Fitbit). I was so pumped after working out with her I hit the treadmill for another 30 after we were done!
The lesson is this: accountability is accountability, even if it's 1600 miles away. If you're struggling to get your New Year's fitness mojo on, grab a friend and a PopSugar video. Shirley and I are already talking about upping our game to a one hour class next week, during our virtual workout. Read more about the benefits of a virtual fitness tribe, here.
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