For the Guys
The Doctor is in
Guys, this is primarily for you, gals you can read and share with your man if you want to 😉
A Little Background First
My wife and I have been exercising together nearly every day for the last 8 years. Prior to that, exercise actually was pulling us apart. Now it is another component of the glue keeping us together. Let me explain. As a youth I had an active construction job and played some sports, which kept me fit and in pretty good shape, if you didn’t ask me to run a long distance. In undergraduate, I played basketball at the IM at Michigan State University, and Becky and I were very active. Even through medical school I still tried to play basketball, and as we had more kids, Beck would go to the gym and check the kids in to daycare and try to figure out a machine or two to exercise on (this was inconsistent, at best). Graduation came, and we moved to a new town and decided to get active, we both enjoyed biking and running and even swimming so we got in to triathlon training. It would take up to an hour each for us at the gym as well as travel time to and fro, and ultimately it kept us apart for an additional 3 hours each day (which with 4 young kids at the time is no bueno).
We needed a change, we were spinning our wheels, we were drifting apart and we weren’t the best we could as parents, as leaders, as servants, or as spouses.
Beck came upon Beachbody and we started with Insanity. It was crazy. We determined that the morning was the best time to get it done as we had a broad spectrum of ages with our kids, who would go to bed between 7 to 10pm and also start getting up at 6 or earlier. Work was demanding and started at 7am, at which point we already had kids up so we started doing workouts together at 5:30. It was hard to get up, hard to get to bed on time to accomplish it and let’s face it, it was hard to do. But as hard as it was- every morning I didn’t want to do it, Beck would get me going. Every morning Beck didn’t want to do it, I would get her going. It is now a very important part of our lives as a couple and we do it even when we travel (or used to before the current madness we live in). We still have mornings when we are sometimes unmotivated, but those are few and far between now. It’s become a habit and part of our daily routine, like brushing our teeth.
The real benefits of working out with your spouse (in my personal experience)
Camaraderie- It’s a shared experience with your spouse so you always know one more thing about their day, you did it together after all.
Accountability- There’s always a person, who shares the bed with you, who will know if you didn’t get your workout in.
Relationship Building- There’s something about doing really hard things together that leads to a sense of accomplishment, and some workouts are really hard, if not workouts-entire programs! It gives us an opportunity to encourage each other and build each other up!
Intimacy- Sharing this time and this experience protects your time and your heart, if you are on opposite schedules or in other gyms and around others, it invites contact with folks that could be harmless but ultimately those relationships won’t make your marriage stronger like sharing that with your spouse can.
Encouragement- You and your spouse may not have the same physical goals or strengths but you can encourage each other in your weaknesses and in your strengths. Beck destroys me when there’s cardio, I can lift heavier, no matter. We still share the same workout and the same experience together.
Parenting- Our kids know that the time we spend together is a premium, they may not interrupt, they can join but it is our time and it is time we use to work on ourselves for each other. The value of our kids seeing us lead active and healthy lives and do it together is helping shape their ideas of who they want to be and who they want to be with when they find a spouse.
There you have it. I took a break from the medical topics this time, but I can tell you I see far more benefits from making this a thing that each and everyone of you who is married does with your spouse than I can see if you make it your personal journey. If that is what it is then it will be hard to stay motivated and your spouse who won’t join you may come to resent your activity and resent your success if you continue. Take the time to make this something that draws you to the ones you love and you will have more and more success and enjoyment out of any programs you do and for that matter anything you do.