Going back to the gym after a four-month hiatus is hard. And it hurts. I’m so sore. But I expected it. I knew that getting back into running after my broken foot in September forced me to take a break was going to be hard, but I’m not going to let the pain or the challenge slow me down or scare me away.

I signed up for a membership with the Ann Arbor YMCA back in October, and used it for about two weeks before “going to the gym” became a chronic item on my to-do list that got moved to tomorrow.  But now, motivated from a holiday month of abusing my digestive system, it’s back to the gym, to start getting ready for the races I have signed up for this coming year. Jeff came with me, utilizing a “thinking about joining” week-long guest pass, and I have to tell you - having a gym buddy can make all the difference!

Gym buddies: Friends that have your best interest in mind, even when you don’t. They tell you to get your butt up off the couch, into sweatpants, and onto the treadmill.

We didn’t work out side-by-side, but just knowing that we were both going to be at the gym for the next half hour was great! Having someone to go to the gym with takes the whole experience from something you feel like you have to do to a fun after-work activity. Jeff and I have been looking for more ways to connect with our new community in Ann Arbor, and the YMCA is great for that. Our gym visits this week have convinced Jeff to sign up for a monthly membership, and we can already feel our connection to our new home strengthening. We have also noticed how awesome we feel, despite the intense pain. Instead of sitting on the couch all night watching TV, we have been energized to cook healthy meals and I know our new routine will keep us active during the long and cold Michigan winter.

ann arbor

What keeps you motivated to stay healthy and active during the winter?