While doing my gym work-out with my trainer (less)-cum- friend (more), we chanced upon an interesting topic. Yes we talk a lot while working out. She has to always remind me to save my breath for my exercises. And I look at it as a perfect one-hour to catch up with her! Anyway to get back to what we talked about..
Making friends is always one of the biggest challenges after a certain stage in life. Especially if you have made a move into a new city, new condo making that fresh start is always tough. Of course if you have kids, that's the easiest route. Their bus stop, their playground gets the ball rolling.
When I moved to Singapore 6 years ago, I knew very few people. Though am not a social butterfly, I do treasure my close 3-4 friends who I always hope to find and keep for life! As expected, the bus stop and playgrounds were my starting points. Having come from Dubai (where life is pretty similar to Singapore), I was kind of used to people being busy and meeting only when 'fixed'.
And then my routine to the gym started almost two years ago. That was one place I met people from different backgrounds (mothers with elder kids, single mothers, young mothers, women with no kids, working mum's). Though we all come in with a common agenda to work-out, everyone's life once outside that gym was way different.
At one end if I am worried about juggling my day so that I am back in time before my younger one gets home, someone else is worried about what she would be wearing to a lunch she had later in the day, another is worried on how to entertain her visiting in-laws, someone is busy sorting out her son's future and attending several counseling sessions (with his university coming up soon). While chatting with them, I often wished I could swap some of my 'to do lists' with theirs- atleast for day!!
This was a perfect meeting ground for all of us to actually 'forget' our worries for that one hour and chat about anything random! Over time, I have started to treasure and enjoy that one hour I spend in the gym. Most of these friends are not really my 'best' pals, yet I look forward to meeting them.
Same is the case for my running club friends and my yoga gang (though I meet them a bit lesser)! Through the running club, I have seen some very 'inspirational' running journeys of friends which has in turn motivated me to get better. Whether its a fellow runner running her 1st 2km or someone who has just finished her first half-marathon, each one has a story!
We try and run in a group, so we can while chatting get to a better pace! And it has worked wonders for some of us. We have been able to escalate to longer distances and better pace!! Of course what we chat on a weekend morning at 6:30am, you may not want to know. Most of us get there after a late night the previous night (family and kids cannot be ignored just because you have a 'running club' run the next morning!!!) , and in our half groggy state actually land up (sometimes) running our best!
All these melting points initially started off as fitness points for me but today is an integral part of my life. Making friends there made my fitness and weight loss journey far more enjoyable and less stressful! I feel for stay-at-home mum's such groups are critical to make sure we talk and think a bit beyond our home and kids! Am sure we can take that hour's break everyday!!!