Get Yourself a Teammate

I try to remember the moment I fell in love with working out and eating smart.  I realized that that moment doesn’t exist.  What I fell in love with was how good I felt and how much I loved feeling good emotionally and about the way I looked.  So I tried to figure out why did I get the feeling and how it all began.

You can get started for different reasons: a resolution, because you are tired of feeling crappie, have a health scare, you want to look hot in your wedding dress, and, like me, via sports.  What was it about sports that got me fired up to train and suffer on the days I didn’t feel like it?  Pure non-emotional discipline.  I had to because my coach was going to kick my butt.  I wanted to be a great volleyball player.  I knew from time and experience that I would feel great afterword, and, lastly, my teammates.

OK, so you are working a real job, have no trainer, and don’t care about being a better volleyball player… but, you can get a teammate.

If you are struggling to get or stay motivated, find someone to take this adventure/challenge with you.  Make it someone who you enjoy spending time with, and who can make you laugh during the uncomfortable or un-fun times.  Your teammate should be able to call you out when you’re slacking and give you kudos for doing great.  They should approach your successes as thought they are theirs.  Not a competitor, but an ally who pushes and supports you. They should be someone who is in the same boat as you, and could use a comrade in the quest of a healthy lifestyle.

* Find someone with a similar reality to pair up with. You don’t want someone “superfit” that may intimidate you in the beginning or make you feel like it really is going to be impossible to reach your goals. On the other hand, you don’t want someone who drags you down or doesn’t help with the mission of staying fired up. Ditch the deadbeats and naysayers.

* When you find your teammate, sit down and write out your goals. They can be a little different, but try to make the big picture fairly similar. After all, there is something very powerful in working together with someone to reach a common goal.

* Remind each other that you may switch who is having a good and bad week. Or, that someone has to be strong one week and then you switch. You’re not always going to be on the same page with the same amount of energy, discipline, etc. Draw strength from one another and use your teammate as a resource.

* Create a schedule. Figure out with regards to each other’s lives what time and which days work for you to train. Even if it’s just three days a week, agree upon a set schedule. You’ll find that you start to move your life around your training schedule once you get one established. I would try and shoot for the mornings because that seems to be the only part of the day that doesn’t throw us too many curve balls.

* Sign an agreement. It’s not a marriage, but it should be binding for a short period of time. Sign something that commits you for three months. You need that much time to just get in a groove with someone and see some results. After three months, if you want to continue the partnership, then extend the agreement. Each partner should sign it and shake on it. Really put your money where your mouth is.

* If one of the teammates cancels once a week (without a great reason) for three weeks in a row, the other has the opportunity to terminate the training partnership. It’s only fair to let someone move on if one of the individuals is holding the other back. Like the Donald says “you are fired.” I think that’s only fair.

* Motivate and stay positive. The teammates should have conversations full of encouragement and positive reinforcement. Focus on where you are going and not where you are or have been. Continue to look ahead at the goal at hand. If your partner gets down, take it upon yourself to lift them up. They will do the same for you when you are in need.

So, go out there and find yourself a great teammate.  Work hard, have fun, stay positive, and remember that two people together can get more done than three working separately.

By Gabby Reece