More often than not, when getting tips on how best to adopt a healthy lifestyle, one of the top pieces of advice given is to join groups of others. Whether it is running groups, cycling groups or what have you, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of people who feel that we need the company of others in order to adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle. Not true!
I agree that it is beneficial to train with others due to the combination of social and exercise benefits but it is also important to realize that no matter how many people we surround ourselves with, it is ultimately up to each individual to handle their fit business!
What about the days when the group doesn’t meet? What about the days when your exercise partner or trainer can’t make a workout? Do you still push on and complete a workout or do you not exercise because you don’t have anyone to train with or push you?
These are all important questions to ask yourself when determining if you have truly adopted a healthy lifestyle. If you have mentally checked out and convinced yourself that you need the company of others in order to exercise, you still have some more work to do my friend!
When you have truly “arrived” in the world of fitness, you are exercising when the weather isn’t “perfect”. You are exercising alone with nobody looking, nobody encouraging you or helping you push forward….just you! When you watch elite athletes crossing the finish line or doing great things on the field of play, it is too easy to assume that they are just gifted souls with the natural ability to achieve great things.
The fact is that the overwhelming majority of these people that we idolize are very hard workers who don’t need the motivation or company of others in order to set, strive for and achieve goals. They are the Michael Jordans, Lindsey Vonns, Kobe Bryants and Lance Armstrongs who put in countless hours of hard work, practice and sacrifice with nobody around.
When we see these people perform at high levels and under extreme amounts of pressure, it seems as though they were given a gift that allows for such greatness. In reality, it is tough workout sessions where there is nobody to lean on but themselves in order to complete the work, it is those times when it is cold, rainy or extremely hot when they dig deep to work on the skills and conditioning needed to master their sport that supports the greatness.
My point is that during these solo sessions of hard work is when you can develop a clear and defined confidence in yourself and what your true potential is and can be. This self developed confidence will directly translate to results and achievements never before thought possible. Having others around you as you all wear the same t-shirts while you exercise is selling yourself way too short. You were put on this earth alone, you will leave it alone and it only makes sense to learn how to live certain aspects of this life alone. Are training groups a good thing? Absolutely, and I encourage everyone to train with others. However, you also have to put yourself in situations where you can train, suffer, learn, progress and ultimately succeed….alone!