Couples who sweat together, work well together?
When Matt and I started dating, he knew what he was getting himself into. I am a crazy woman that runs marathons because I enjoy the distance. I enjoy feeling the pavement under my feet, the planning involved in creating route maps and putting my fuel belt together and I enjoy that accomplished feeling after seeing what the human body can accomplish with a little bit of hard work. Okay. A lot of hard work.
While I was training for my fourth full marathon, he decided he would start training for his first half-marathon. I was so very proud. It was great to find someone that would run AND talk with me along the way. I find some partners will run with you, but rather not talk and just plug into their music players. I am a talker. He started to see the difficulties that come with running. How it can affect your social life and the physical soreness your body experiences. This is where we began to really work as a team. If we had a social outing to go to, we kept each other in check. There is no way I have alcohol the night before a long run so if either of us felt pressured we would back each other up. If we felt tired and knew we had an early rise, we would say our goodbyes and cut the night short.
I think one of the most generous gestures Matt has ever done for me was when I fell behind on my training for my fourth full marathon and I decided to take a 26 km run by myself in the middle of the day. I am a morning runner so I knew this would be mentally tough. Before I left, Matt came over and I told him the route I would be on (safety comes first, y’all!) and what my expected time of arrival would be. I carry my phone when I run just in case I need help or run into any problems. At 23.5 km I texted him to let him know I wasn’t far away. Once I arrived at my apartment, I could feel my muscles seizing up and how depleted I felt (energy-wise). I open the door and Matt had ran a bath for me. Beside the bath he had a snack, water and a bunch of magazines for me to read and relax with. In the oven was a salmon dinner he was working on. As someone who has never had anyone understand the level of commitment I commit myself to during my training seasons, I was so very touched by this. Many of my friends do not understand the endurance training “thing.” I often get “Hey Jenn, you know the story of how the Marathon started back in ancient greece? Yeah, that guy DIED at the end.” Or they push you by saying “you are taking this too seriously.” I believe in setting yourself up for success. Would you rather workout when you have eaten terrible the night before, had a few drinks and have a raging headache because you are dehydrated and have only slept 3 hours? Probably not. Make it easier on yourself an set yourself up for the best possible scenario!
You are their biggest cheerleader
In the New Year, Matt and I plan on working out together again, but in the weight room. We both have memberships at the same gym now so I am very excited to be able to work with him again. We work very well together not only in the weight room or on the pavement but in stressful situations. He has a way of taking my anxiety away when I am in situations I don’t desire to be apart of. I support him when ever I can when he is experiencing tough times. I am happy that we can workout together. Many couples find it difficult to do so and that is okay. Our personalities and experiences we bring to the table, I think, make us workout well together. He doesn’t mind if I push him that much harder. He is really great at talking me out of my negative “I don’t think I can do this” talk.
Spend more time together
Matt knows I spend a lot of my time working out, planning my workouts, or thinking about working out. I am VERY passionate about what I do, hence why I LOVE being a fitness professional. When we get into running routines together, it gives us great time to talk about up and coming events, any stresses we are feeling and also we experience the elusive “runners high” together. For myself, there are certain topics I have trouble opening myself up to in conversation, and somehow when I run I don’t feel as anxious to talk about those topics.
Feel more confident and comfortable au Naturale
Personally, I have never been one of those girls who MUST wear my makeup to the gym but I will from time to time have it on. I don’t feel self-conscious wearing no makeup and working up a sweat in front of my significant other for a few reasons. Personally I feel my prettiest when I sweat. I love feeling strong, physically and mentally. However, I do have to wear cute gym clothes to the gym. Yup. I am probably THAT girl who comes to the gym wearing full Nike or full Lululemon. I feel like when I feel good about what I am wearing, I work harder. Odd. I know.
But for those of you who feel a bit awkward taking all your makeup off or sweating in front of your partner, know that they probably find it extremely attractive. Personally, I can’t help but LOVE that Matt has goals set up for himself and that he is willing to put in the hard work to get to those goals. He said that my marathon training was one of the first things that really caught his eye about me. I am willing to sacrifice small things to achieve something that has a lot of meaning to me.
You make a strong team
Dating for me is used to find that person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I find working out with Matt, we can see what things spark us to work harder, what overwhelms us and could set a blockade in front of the goals and dreams we have, and you can see how to motivate them to work harder. If you know your partner does not like being corrected in how they preform a move or how they should eat, find another way to go about it or find someone else to help them out. Sometimes hearing it from your significant other can make you feel self-conscious, but hearing it from your friend who is a trainer or from a stranger may be the key to helping them out. Form is so key, and you care about them. You don’t want them to hurt themselves. Like any relationship, communication is key and I find sweating together brings in that element quite nicely.
But be careful
Ego comes into play in some relationships. When in the weight room I see this a lot. People think they can lift a certain weight and they are compensating by swinging their bodies to gain momentum. No! If you can’t lift that heavy, PLEASE don’t! If you find it tough that your significant other is more in shape and you feel the need to be like “well I can TOTALLY lift heavier,” just stop and think. Should we workout together? Like I have said, it is okay if you don’t sweat well together. You can still go to the gym and do separate workouts and I am sure you will still work together as a solid team! Be smart. Be safe. They won’t think any less than you! The benefits of being active together still apply!
Also, don’t take offense if your partner wants to do one workout by themselves. I do this all the time. Sometimes, running is my “me time.” Matt gets that. He will often ask “is it okay if I join you,” and I will communicate with him in that way.
So tell me, do you work out with your significant other and do you both enjoy it? Or if you are looking for a partner, do you want someone to workout with? How do you think it affects the relationship?