Otherwise titled Trains, planes and airplanes
Since October I’ve been frequenting the gym. Now, by no means would I call myself a gym rat, or even a gym mouse. But I am definitely on my way to being classified as gym rodentia of some sort. So, for the last 3 months I’ve been schlepping myself to the gym. Carrying bottled water, yoga mats and sports bras. Trying out all sorts of classes: Hula hoop, pole dancing, yoga and Kangoo Jump. The cardio-variety becoming the spice in my otherwise lazy life. With the arrival of winter I’ve become a Yoga grouch. Bundled up before I get to the gym, sweating under my down jacket. Then after an hour of pushing myself through what could be mini strokes, I am sweaty, red and panting. Not exactly the ideal friend material. And yet…against all odds I have made a friend. Just to clarify, I’ve never had a gym friend. I’ve never gone to the gym often enough to make one. There have been people at other gyms who’ve become friendly, but they were typically employees on some sort of payment program where sales were ranked and paid accordingly. They weren’t actually being friendly, I could feel their commission chaffing me. Against all sweaty odds, over the last couple months, I’ve become familiar with circuits of people. People with similar goals and schedules. I am being courted by new gym rat crews to motivate each other. It’s a strange dynamic. But it’s very exciting.
This is tough to admit, but friendship isn’t easy for one as self involved as I am. As a self-defence mechanism, I often nip budding friendships, nervous that they will end up resenting my inability to communicate and my selfish tendencies. After the second time this potential friend gave me her business card, and the first failed attempt to get together; I decided honesty was the best policy. Making my confession, then and there: I am not very good at making slash keeping new friends. Looking me straight in the eyes, she quoted MWFseeksBFF, a blog I follow and enjoy…Well played universe, well played. Taking her business card for the second time, I promised myself that this time I would use it. Then when I arrived home I promptly forgot. The next day I awoke to a nagging feeling. Why would I prevent myself from being friends with someone just in case I get lazy later? That would be silly, we obviously share interests and I already see her more than most of my other girlfriends. Plus it might be nice to have a girlfriend to workout with. So, I emailed her a long winded apology, asking when I would see her at the gym again.
That day was yesterday; being brave I asked her if she wanted to grab a post yoga beer. She said yes, so we went out, sweaty, unmade up and eager to discuss life. Sitting down, unwrapping our post yoga winter wear, my new gym friend in typical first date fashion asked what I look for in a friend. This gave me pause as I thought, I tried figuring out what it was about my friends that drew me to them…Agreeable. Obviously. Personality, super important. And I like someone who values their appearance and doesn’t sound like a harpy. Pretty simple criteria. Returning the question, her response was more in depth. She was looking for someone honest, generous, kind and genuine. My heart sank. Unsure if I truly fulfilled those criteria. Self conscience of my oh so many faults I launched into a tirade of why I wasn’t typically but have the potential to be a good friend. Sitting quietly, maintaining eye contact and smiling, my new gym friend was un-flapped. (One of the peripheral benefits of cardio activity) Finally coming up for air, I stopped. Still smiling she asked why I was being so hard on myself, and that as far as she was concerned we were already friends, the only thing that had changed was our location. So, people it’s official! I have my first gym friend…soon to be known as just plain old everywhere friend. And when the next extreme weather warning happens on a day of aerial aerobics, and I can barely motivate myself out the door, I will look forward to my new friend giving me the push I need; and a much needed warm up beer after. Here’s to new friends and the beers they bring! Cheers!