The Power of a Friend

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I’ve just returned home from the Grant County YMCA after doing 45 minutes in the pool with one on my friends.  We get up at an hour that is usually reserved for emergency services, shift workers and bakers and take ourselves to the local pool to work out our aging joints—oh, and our mouths.  We talk and laugh and share advice as we stretch, walk and swim through our workout.

I’ve traditionally been a more solo exercise individual—until now.  I am having a blast meeting up with a friend that’s just crazy enough to get up before the sun and provide mutual support and accountability.  It’s not just good for my body, it’s good for my soul.

If you find that the lingering pandemic has hit you with holiday time malaise, find a friend who is willing to show up with you and take that brisk walk, do a few laps in the pool, shoot hoops or meet you at a spin class.  Everyone’s idea of exercise is different so find what you enjoy and share the time with a friend.  You may just find, like I did, the power of a friend to transform what felt like a chore into a joy.

Leaning into friendship, during the holidays especially, can remove the feelings of isolation and stress many of us are feeling after two long pandemic years, knowing we are on the cusp of a third.  Good friends provide us with a safe space where we can be ourselves, find comfort and let go of the pressures and expectations of everyday life.  And adding exercise as one of the reasons to get together gives you the double whammy of improving both your physical and mental wellness.

As we wind down 2021 and embrace 2022, let’s do it with the power of our friends alongside us.  Wishing you and yours an amazing holiday season and a Happy New Year!