A person can put in all of the hard work they want, but without one important ingredient fitness will probably never be achieved.
They must have training partners
In this situation I’m referring to training partners as “individuals who take the fitness journey with you, and provide motivation or help” so you don’t always have to be doing a form of training (exercise) with them.
I’ve covered many of the reasons for partners in this series on fitness but just to review:
- We need partners because there will be moments of weakness
- We need partners because fitness isn’t just about losing weight (they will help us create a proper balance of exercise and healthy eating)
- We need partners because fitness isn’t just about exercise (they will help keep us from buying into the idea that you can eat whatever you want after exercising)
- We need partners because fitness is about developing healthy eating habits over time
As I close this series on fitness allow me to share one more reason why we need training partners. They help us approach fitness with a long-term approach.
The picture in this post came after one of my last training runs before the Richmond marathon in November 2014. It was also the most difficult run of my life.
The distance didn’t really bother me since it was only fourteen miles (we ran twenty-four the week before). The issue was running in thirty degree temperatures  while it was raining heavily.
For those of you who’ve never done this before, running in the cold isn’t too bad since your body warms up eventually, running the rain is horrible since you can’t get warm in wet clothes.
Today anyone who went on that training run will agree with me about it’s difficulty…of course we embellish a little, so in a year people will probably think we ran in a monsoon 🙂
I can honestly tell you that on my own I wouldn’t have made it one mile on a morning like that, however with training partners by my side I was able to finish (even if it wasn’t very pretty).
At the same time a training partners most important ministry isn’t pushing us farther, but actually making us slow down.
I’m not a very competitive person, but for some reason when running I become very competitive. It’s as if when someone passes me a voice in my head says “hey you can’t let him do that!” so I start speeding up. As you can imagine this creates problems since I’m not able to keep up with the rabbits (faster runners) for more than a short period of time.
To help with this my training partners (the mentor of my training group especially) would constantly tell me to slow down or point out the fact that we were going too fast.
At first this would annoy me but soon I realized he was emphasizing a consistent race run at a good speed instead of sprinting and then having to walk part of it.
In the same way true fitness is a long-term thing (habits we will want to keep for the rest of our lives). So the idea is having a consistent approach that moves slowly instead of going overboard right away.
Most of us (myself included) take a sprinting philosophy to fitness  so there needs to be a voice other than our own that tells us to slow down.
You may be frustrated with that voice at first, but that’s okay, you will be very thankful for it later.