Friday, January 1, 2010

Is Your Partner Partnering?

Everyone knows that it's good to workout with a partner. The experts say that partners keep you accountable, which of course is a good thing. But what if your partnership is holding you back? What if your partner is sick or can't make a workout or gives you excuse after excuse why they can't workout, what do you do? What if they tell you, "I just can't make it today, but we'll do our workout tomorrow"? Are you letting your partner down by going without them? What if you feel like you are? Would it be right to end the partnership and find a new one?

Well, I can't be the one to tell anyone that they need to dump their partner (mainly because my workout partner is my husband and I certainly can't dump him!), but I can share what I did to keep myself on track and give my partner the boost they needed for both of us to stay on track for this new year.

The end of 2009 was rough! I got sick, then my workout partner got sick. My workout partner did not go to the gym and continue working out when I was not there, so when my partner got sick and saw me getting ready to go to the gym, he told me that he felt bad that I was going without him. He pointed out that he didn't go without me when it was me who was sick. He went on to tell me that he would feel better the next day and we'd do our workout tomorrow. Well, guess what; he didn't feel better the next day and quite frankly, when you have a weight training schedule, THAT DAY'S workout is THAT DAY'S workout. You miss a day, and you miss THAT DAY. Moving the workout to the following day throws the rest of the weeks schedule out of whack. This is something that my partner and I had honestly never discussed before. When we started working out together last year, we just started working out. There were no plans and we never had any discussions about "workout etiquette"... we never established ground rules for our "workout partnership". So, time passed and we learned A LOT more about exercise (specifically weight training) and workouts started getting planned and still, no ground rules were established. Enter: New Year 2010!

I took this opportunity to lay down our workout ground rules. Being that I always start the new year with a goal sheet, I used my goal sheet to open the discussion. I explained that I had set my goals for 2010 and I added a few things that would effect OUR workouts and I was hoping that he was game to help me reach my goals. Well, that perked my partner's ears and opened his mind. I was able to explain the "ground rules" for 2010 without any discomfort or defensiveness. Here they are:

1) Workout schedule is set for the week. M-W-F cardio and weight training, T-TH-SAT cardio with Sunday being our day off (this is the same schedule that we used in 2009... very successfully I might add).

2) If someone has to miss a workout, the other person MUST GO without their partner. This is to help each other continue to support one another by NOT BREAKING the team's momentum.

3) If both partners have to miss THAT DAY'S workout, it is simply skipped and the workout schedule continues as if nothing was missed.

Now, a couple of things have already occurred due to the new rules. First, a new motivation to not be the person to miss the workout has kind of fallen into place. People, and I mean everyone, has this weird thing about them that they don't want to be left behind. No matter how much your partner (or spouse) cares for you, they still instinctively don't want you to do or be better without them. It's not that they don't want great things FOR you, they do, they just really want great things WITH you. Of course there are those people that honestly don't want great things for you at all and will purposely try to sabotage and hold you back and in that instance I would say cut and run, but I'm writing this from the point of view that I have an awesome partner who ALWAYS wants great things for me. He just didn't want me to workout without him and the more workouts we missed together, the harder it was to get back to the gym.... our momentum was broken (all throughout the holiday season). That leads to the final thing that the ground rules fixed.... we've regained momentum that I intend to keep.

I will keep everyone posted periodically throughout the year about how these new ground rules have effected our workouts and specifically how it has effected our success. I can already feel in my bones that this is the missing piece of the puzzle and this year is going to be the BEST year yet! This is the year we get everything our hearts desire!!!!

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