Over the past fifteen years, I have moved at least five times covering nearly all parts of the country including Mississippi, California, New Hampshire, Missouri and Massachusetts. Some people like to unpack boxes and set up utilities when they take up residence in a new town, but I prefer to find the nearest gym, get a tour, check out the classes they have to offer and sign up. The gym is a source of so many of the things that I thrive on in life-exercise, friendships, stress relief and reading time. I have found solace and strength in dedicating an hour each day to sweating, while being surrounded by a room full of people who are doing the same whether they are enjoying themselves or pushing through gut-wrenching physical pain.
Some of my best friendships have been cultivated on a treadmill, the sound of running shoes hitting the surface and serving as background noise to conversations that span anywhere from family life to the preference of sports bras. We all come from different backgrounds, but as soon as the first stride is taken, we form a bond that gets us through mile after mile and making it go a hell of a lot faster than if we were to hit the road alone. The standing commitment to meeting these pals at the gym miraculously pulls me out of bed at 5:30 on a Saturday morning, freeing up the rest of my day with a clear head and a feeling of accomplishment.
So, whether it is a treadmill, a road bike or a dance class-friendship is a fast way to getting fit.