Dating and Fitness – The Two Have A Lot In Common

“I have a date tonight. It’s gonna be hot and steamy, and I probably won’t be able to walk after. In other words, I’m going to the gym.”

At this time in my life, I’m in the very early stages of wedding planning. Yay! Not for the planning and the wedding, but for getting married.

That moment you realize you never have to date again.

That moment you realize you never have to date again.

It’s true, I’m super psyched to be married. First of all, I love Chris. Obviously. Second, I’d like to have children soon and I’m somewhat old-fashioned in that I’d like to be married before that happens. And, let’s face it, at 32 years old, I’m past the point where getting pregnant will be as easy for me as finishing an entire Chipotle burrito.

And one of the best parts about getting married is… no more dating! Not that dating was so awful for me; in fact, I really lucked out and never had any dates so horrifying they’d win any sort of “Worst Date” story contest. Nevertheless, it wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed and I heard plenty of horror stories from girlfriends that only furthered that feeling.

As I tend to do with just about everything, I started thinking about what dating has in common with fitness. I actually found quite a few similarities!

The Internet Has Changed Things
I can’t speak from personal experience but it’s pretty impossible to be unaware of all the dating options available today via the worldwide web. For the times we live in now, Chris and I meeting the way we did (at a house party) is pretty rare – so many people now meet on the Internet.

In addition to all the different sites a person can join, the number of prospects skyrockets. Some of my girlfriends who’ve dabbled in the online dating world have said there’s no shortage of potential dates they have to choose from on a given week. But in this case, quality is not equal to quantity. As many suitors as they have to choose from, less than a handful are what they’d deem even potentially compatible.

Keep that in mind when seeking out anything fitness related on the Internet – whether that be nutrition advice, workout programs or a personal trainer. Anyone can post anything about any topic he/she chooses (Hi, I’m Lindsay. Welcome to my blog) and anyone can call him/herself a fitness expert, health coach, or any sort of title they deem worthy of what they’re trying to sell.

Just like with dating, be aware of what’s on the Internet. Be very aware.
What’s On The Inside Counts
We’ve been told this since kindergarten, yet, we’re all guilty of disobeying the rule in dating and regular life. When going on a first date, one has to keep an open mind, as physical appearances aren’t all that matters. First off, if you’re meeting someone in the way of the aforementioned paragraph, they may not look like their profile picture. Get over it, you might not either (c’mon, we all choose our very best photos to be our profile pics). Shift focus away from the outside and give the inside a good look. On that same note, and this is just some personal advice from me, don’t focus too much on your own looks during a date either. All that time you’re spending touching up makeup or taking selfies isn’t impressing the person across from you trying to engage in a meaningful conversation. Unless they’re equally narcissistic – in which case, please continue.

The same is true when it comes to fitness. People tend to get too caught up in how things look on the outside and take away focus on what’s happening on the inside. For example, many assume that a skinny person is healthy and a bigger person isn’t. This is often the exact opposite of true. From eating disorders to being the skinny fat guy, thin doesn’t always mean healthy or fit. Likewise, someone who appears to be overweight may not be – he or she may be muscular, something you can’t always see under shirts and through jeans.

Your muscles, bones, heart, stress level, they’re all living on the inside. True, you can see plenty of exterior results from working out (nicer skin, bigger muscles, fewer spots that wiggle) but it’s not all surface. The scale may not always reflect the good you’re doing for yourself, something fitness newbs tend to focus on too much. Finally, and I may burst some bubbles here, the time you’re spending taking and posting gym selfies? It’s not making you fitter. Neither are the videos of yourself doing curls or rows. So please stop it. Stop it now. 

Keep focus is on being strong, feeling good and being healthy on the inside. And don’t worry so much about the outside cover, it probably looks pretty good.

It took him a couple tries to get the hang of paddle boarding but now it's something we love.

It took him a couple tries to get the hang of paddle boarding but now it’s something we love.

Always Give A Second Chance
Most people aren’t their usual selves on a first date. Chris refers to it as having your representative out aka: trying to put your absolute best self forward. Sometimes though, the worst in people comes out on a first date, especially when those awkward silences hit. In an attempt to keep conversations going, some may come across too chatty or self-involved. Others may inadvertently overshare life experiences and reveal too many personal details too soon. No matter what a first date is like, it’s likely not going to be an instant love connection. So unless the guy/gal is a murderer, sociopath, doesn’t like dogs (I had to throw that one there) or something seriously awful, it’s typically a good idea to give that second date a chance.

Same is true with a new workout or program. Your attempt at running sucked? Sounds about right. First leg day left you nearly immobile for a week? Yep. New to yoga and felt like an awkward fool the entire class? Totally normal. The point is, like a person, developing a relationship with fitness takes a long time. It’s not going to be love at first sight. Give it another chance. Down the road, you may have to give it another. Fitness and relationships are both ongoing and require work, commitment and some TLC.

And finally, as the quote at the beginning of this blog states, when a relationship is really great, things will heat up. You’ll sweat. Your heart rate will go up. Blood will be pumping. And you may not want to get out of bed the next morning.

Fitness friends, do any of these experiences ring true to you? What other ways are fitness and dating similar? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.

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