How My Workout Became a Part of My Social Life

Maria Cassel
Maria Cassel

| 4 min read

Ever since I was a kid, I have always been active.
My mom put me in every single sport, I played softball, ran cross country, played tennis, and even dabbled in bowling at one point. In high school, I focused on competitive swimming, which meant daily dry land workouts and four-hour practices.
Throughout my freshman year of college, I stayed active, running and going to the gym daily. I had ample time because I took a light course load my freshman year. 
My first semester of my sophomore year of college was different. I got busy, fast. With a full schedule of classes and my first internship, I started to lose time for the things I love. Things like being social and going to the gym began to become luxuries in my schedule. I started waking up and working out at six am in the morning to make time for the gym.
I was going to bed at nine every night and was missing a lot of social activities at school. I was tired and I missed my friends. So, I started staying up later to hang out with friends. Every morning it became more difficult to get out of bed when my alarm went off, eventually I began to skip the gym.
At first, I did ok, but as the days went on, I saw a noticeable shift in my mental health. I hated the trade-off between the gym and being social, and it took a toll on me. 

Combining gym and friends

When I went home for winter break, I finally got the chance to do consistent movement again. It felt so good. After two months of late nights, skipping the gym and not feeling my best, I noticed a positive shift in my mental health. I knew that going into second semester I had to make time for the gym, but I did not want to sacrifice my social life. I had to figure out a way to include both in my already hectic schedule. That’s when I had a simple, but brilliant idea.
Why not just combine the two things I love the most? The gym and my friends.
Second semester my best friend, Gisella and I, started going to the gym together in the mornings. The fifteen-minute walk and hour-long workout flew by. Instead of feeling like a chore on my mile long to-do list, I looked forward to my six am mornings at the gym. It was so fun to jump out of my cold dorm bed and run to Gisella’s to wake her up. I finally found a routine that I looked forward to instead of dreaded.
I became happier because my day started by hanging out with one of my favorite people. It was the social interaction and physical release I needed in my day; it was perfect. I also noticed that all of second semester, I didn’t skip the gym. Going with Gisella kept me accountable and when we were at the gym, I found that I worked harder, ran faster, and lifted heavier weights. I finally found a way to balance my friends, the gym and school without exhausting myself.

A massive difference in my health

Going to the gym with a friend was the best idea I’ve ever had.
It seems so simple in nature, but truly made a massive difference in my mental and physical health. There are a slew of benefits to hitting the gym with a buddy. It keeps you accountable, makes the gym more fun and helps you stay motivated and consistent. By going to the gym with a friend, you can improve your physical and mental health.
Life can get extremely busy and stressful but by going to the gym with a friend, you have a fun and social way to move your body. Ask a friend to go on a walk or a run, or maybe try and new workout class and build a community that emphasizes movement. I promise, from my personal experience, it will only make your life healthier and fun.
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Photo credit: Maria Cassel
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