Alternate title: The ball and chain is a good thing…   

You are with your best friend having a great time until totally unexpected and out of nowhere s/he goes THERE! 

So, your friend asks, how’s it going with you and physical activity?  

Do you fidget and pause, thinking, Really?  Did you really just go there?!  Then not wanting to come across as defensive, but unable to NOT knee jerk follow with a rapid fire Why? What do you mean? Who’s asking? Why do you want to know? 

Or, with a sly, satisfying smile do you report it has never been better and we are very happy, thank you! 

Your response speaks volumes about your daily habit, which is why we are going to focus on your relationship.  That’s right, the ‘R’ word, relationship! 

To start, which descriptor best captures your relationship to physical activity:

  1. Happily married
  2. Going steady
  3. Engaged
  4. Exclusive
  5. Dating
  6. Seeing
  7. Hanging out
  8. Casual
  9. Per needed basis
  10. Separated
  11. Divorced
  12. It doesn’t matter

The good news is regardless of your answer we can help keep it fresh, strengthen it, or structure reconciliation.  More on this below…

The best answer is you are happily married.  Duh!  Using creative license this means you give and get, understand the benefits of commitment, and are in it for the long haul. 

But, you might be thinking, we are hanging out and all is fine.  No pressure, I can do my own thing, I’m not tied down, it’s comfortable.  What’s so bad about that?

 The danger of hanging out is the slippery slope of change – it’s unlikely things will stay the same and more often than not the result is LESS rather than more commitment.

But we agree that we don’t expect anything from each other.  OK, but translated that means you are not going to get anything, at least not consistently or that you can count on.  And, we know where this leads – motivation erodes because you are not recognizing any achievement.  Just ‘being’ just doesn’t cut it.  You need to have a stake in it.

But I’ve done commitment and it didn’t work.  It was good at first but crashed and burned.  Why do I need that again?

Well, we have all been there!  It’s new and easy.  You are flying high.  Colors are brighter, food tastes better, traffic is lighter, all is right, until the erosion begins.  Chinks start to scream.  Habits become annoying.  Frequent misunderstandings stir question and second thoughts – Have I made a mistake?… This isn’t what I expected… This isn’t working out… We are too different… We don’t want the same thing… The timing is wrong…  We are in different places…  Until bam, crash, burn.  Over.  Done.  Try again?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Never again.  No more commitment, no more disappointment, no more ‘relationship!’    

Ouch!  But regroup, because it’s a set up to think you can avoid disappointment if you avoid commitment.  In fact, casual compared to committed only leads to greater disappointment.  So, here are a few thoughts to consider from the physical activity relationship school. 

First, don’t fall in love with love, meaning, don’t fall in love with the false hopes of ‘easy’ or ‘fast transformation’.  Like any relationship, you need to work at yours with physical activity.  But the work doesn’t have to be terrible, horrible drudgery.  More on this below.  

Second, you OUGHT to expect something from it because it CAN and WILL deliver, but fair is fair and it expects something from you.  More on this below.     

Third, don’t make it a sloppy second to everything else, like going to the movie instead of the gym, or going shopping instead of a walk.  Any relationship erodes when taken for granted. 

Finally, find the right match…  And, do I have the right match for you!          

With Iron Footprint Fitness you identify then display ALL your activity achievement – your daily workout, ALL the different types of activity you have done and anything you do in addition to your daily workout, and your performance benchmarks.  This is what you give.  In return you get resilient motivation to sustain your engagement, and from this all the quality of life benefits you can only get from activity.    

Call it what you will, but be nice to yourself and commit to a serious relationship with physical activity using the right approach. 

Hey, what you do with your significant other is your business.  Just don’t blow it with physical activity. 

So, commit! 

The upside – the gifts you will get after you send your friends your registry list from the local sporting goods store.  And, if nothing else, you can always work the ball and chain into your routine.