Blue Zone Interview by Jennifer Manlowe
After meeting with TRX aficionados Debbie, Pam, Jeannie and another member who chose not to be named (new member), I learned there are several reasons people who join a gym might fail but people who join others in their pursuit of fitness have a better chance of success.
Lots of us are introverts, in the Northwest especially, and we sit most of our days or run around doing errands and then squeeze in a workout before or after our day’s work. This solitary gym visit may be ideal for an ever-changing schedule but for others — even introverts — working in groups, with a trainer or even a gym buddy can bring greater success and satisfaction.
In order to gather information on their experience of working out at Island Fitness, I met with TRX class members Jeannie, Pam, Debbie and New Member to ask them two questions before class started: 1) Why did you join the gym? and 2) What have you found helps by working in a group?
As to the first question, why they joined the gym, all answered in their own way but the answers were basically the same, “I want to get fit/healthy or keep fit/healthy.”
When I asked each one what they like best about working in a group, the answer was unique but had running themes of "I need to be challenged and motivated” or “On my own, I’m toast.”
One member came to the class "to prepare for surgery and heal quickly afterward." She decided to stay in the class and says she "feels great about the results in body, mind and spirit.”
Another member said, "Being in this group gives me support, motivation, and I have fun. Too, I feel cared for and I’ve come to care about others here.” In interviewing the, I learned that "if someone misses more than one class, one of the others will check up on them to make sure they're okay."
One woman said she "always performs best with teams" and this has been true for years. She said, “I had to stay in shape as a high school and college athlete." Then said, “Now that I’m 62, I challenge myself for myself, not to run another marathon!” This same member said, “I’m not a group person per se but I am inspired to give it my all in groups.”
Everyone agreed the TRX instructor, "Loretta is a master." They said, “Working with her is awesome!” One said, “She motivates us and, like a really good Pilates instructor, knows each little movement to suggest to prevent injury and give us the maximum benefit of the move.”
Another said, “Even watching another person in class helps me do the move correctly.” A few members agreed, "Working in groups makes a difference and I never workout alone anymore.” Another said, “Though this is a really tough workout that pushes me farther than I’d push myself, in the long run, it’s much easier because I’m not alone.”
All in all, working out in groups as men and women doesn’t make the work less painful but it seems to make the work feel less like work. And, as we can see from this TRX group, when we support and inspire each other, everybody wins.
Authored by Creative Consultant and Clarity Coach, Dr. Jennifer Manlowe with EmboldenU.com.