Understanding VS. Supporting
Someone shared this meme with me the other day and I had to laugh because it is very relatable...
I've been in situations like this many times-- one was just last week! Now, I'm not saying I'm blowing off plans with friends to hang out alone in the gym because that would be a whole other issue; but, there has definitely been more than one occasion where I had to adjust my workout plans and/or plans with friends accordingly.
For example, last Friday we had a mandatory work event after work. This event didn't start until 2 and a half hours after our workday ended and many of us live too far away to go home and then come back. Being that I needed to get a leg workout in at some point that day, I decided I would use that time to head to a nearby gym, do my workout, and make it back in time for the event (which inspired last post on making busy schedules work).
Most of my co-workers had planned to head out for food/drinks at a happy hour close-by. Of course, when I turned down their invite, I had quite a few people suggesting just what that meme above says. I also had a lot of people look at me like I had 5 heads when I said I was going to the gym instead.
I tried to explain that I had to squeeze a workout in at some point that day, but some were confused by the concept of "having" to workout. It's okay though, I don't expect them to get it, I don't expect everyone to understand where I'm coming from or my mindset, but I do expect them to support my decision (and am happy to say they did).
This little opening monologue brings me to the bigger concept of this post:
Family, friends, and your lifestyle choices.
I think one of the hardest parts for me in terms of my fitness journey is/always has been the family/friends aspect. Though none of my friends or family have given me reason to feel uncomfortable about it or have denounced me for my health/fitness lifestyle choices, I still find this piece to be difficult to navigate through.
I think this is mainly because I do things that most of my friends/family do not. Because of this, they do not fully understand where I am coming from. I think it is safe to say by this point that all of my friends and family know I am "into" fitness and that I enjoy going to the gym; however, they don't completely understand the details of me being "into" fitness. My style of eating, meal timing, workout programming, etc. don't make sense to them. Because of this, I can't help but feel awkward bringing up my health/fitness life around them, so I tend to avoid the details (I mean, I don't even share my fitness Instagram page or this blog with them). I understand that maybe they don't understand, so why force this part of my life on them?
Basically, I know that this part of me is different from the majority of the people that I'm often around, so I know parts of it seem nonsensical. I am not asking for everyone to get it, I'm not asking for everyone to hop on board and be like me, I'm just asking them to support me and not hold it against me for doing things that seems otherwise strange to them (like squeezing in a workout instead of going to happy hour...).
We all have our own passions/niches in life. For example, I know a bunch of people that would live and die for running. Do I think it is absolutely insane to wake up and run 8 miles for fun, or 13 on a random morning during marathon training? Heck yes. Do I judge or knock my friends for wanting to do that just because I don't? Heck no. I fully support them and their craziness (in my eyes) because I get that it is something they enjoy. I will never completely understand it, and they may never completely understand my passion, but as long as there is a mutual respect and support, that's all that matters.
So, take a look at the people you are surrounding yourself with. Do they support you and your passions? Sure, maybe you don't get into it much with them because it's not a mutual enjoyment, but at the end of the day, do they respect your decisions, or actions, or goals in relation to what you are passionate about?
If the answer is yes, then keep them around.
If the answer is no, then why are they a part of your life?
No matter your preferred lifestyle, make sure it is filled with good people.
They don't need to "get it", but they need to support it.