Some days there’s nothing better than alone-time. Those are the days when the inner-introvert makes itself heard (‘Hey, can’t we just stay in and read a book?’) and I listen (‘I thought you’d never ask!’).
If I’m completely honest, it’s also my preference after a long day or a busy week – I actually don’t mind my own company and can spend hours just doing…’stuff’.
Don’t get me wrong; I love spending time with friends, work colleagues and people in general. There are just some times when I also like to go it alone.
But here’s the thing…
I’ve discovered that when it comes to exercise, pushing myself or stepping outside of my comfort zone, I need the butts!
Before any of my friends, acquaintances or newly-found running buddies (who may be reading this) start *backing away from the crazy lady* and making plans to avoid my calls, allow me to explain…
I have a dog. He loves his own company too (and is on the deck right now enjoying some man-time). He also loves it when it’s just the two of us, or when his ‘human pack’ hangs out.
But when he gets together with his mates – and has spent either the day or a few hours in ‘butt-sniffing paradise’ – he comes home energised and…well…talkative (I swear he’s trying to tell us about his day, he’s so animated and full of beans).
After I found my horse last Sunday, I spent an hour that afternoon running with a group of lovely ladies. It was hot, I felt unfit, but I pushed myself. I met some more people, shared a few laughs, and got a few more running tips.
I arrived home feeling energised, positive and that I was back on the wagon (I may have also been a touch talkative sorry, J – thanks for
indulging me listening).
Then I realised the similarities.
The only difference being: the dog’s butts were literal, mine metaphorical.
I realised that as much as I might prefer to go it alone, there are times when a group situation is exactly what’s needed.
(feeling better now, friends?)
During the session we had to run around a park a number of times (I think it was around 400m), with a recovery period in-between each lap. After the third lap I felt breathless and slightly ill, and halfway through the fourth I actually walked. If I had been at home on the treadmill or out by myself on a run this would have been my cue to switch the machine off or walk home. I didn’t stop though, and after some encouragement (ie ‘For this lap, your goal is to not walk.’) managed to finish before collapsing on the grass, gasping for air.
That’s the other thing about having other butts to sniff – you tend to push yourself harder so as not to let the team (or in this case the ‘pack leader’ / trainer) down. I also now know that I actually do have more ‘in the tank’ than I thought, and that I need to push outside of my comfort zone more.
I’ll still continue to do solo runs and my toning / strength days at home, but I’ll also be sure to include group activities as part of the plan from here. Knowing me, it will be tough getting out the door sometimes, but I also know that once I’m there it will be worth it.
I can highly recommend it for anyone struggling to get back into a routine, or who themselves may have slipped off their own wagons recently.
It may be going to a class (If you have them nearby, Aquafit is a great one for meeting people), entering a Fun Run, doing Boot Camp or even organising to go walking or running with a friend.
Go sniff some butts! Trust me, it works.