Tonight, I went to the gym without Liz for the first time in…forever. She visited her mom after work, leaving me to work out by myself.
I didn’t realize how much I’ve come to depend on Liz during our workouts. When I am not feeling it, she is peppy. She doesn’t spot me or yell insults in my face like the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket or anything, but she can talk and clap me into finishing a workout after a long day at work.
More importantly, the gym has become a bonding place for us. Between sets, we chat about our days at work, plan for the days ahead, and laugh about, well, everything. The gym is one of the few places we can connect without distractions. We have a “no phones” rule while we exercise, so we know that no one is going to call, and we eliminate the impulse to check email, Facebook and Twitter. At the gym, we are free.
Without the conversation and shared experience, tonight’s workout was silent and clinical. The workout got my heart racing, but without Liz, my workout had no heart. I did the Spartacus 2.0 workout in a room usually reserved for classes separate from the gym floor. To add a splash of awkward to my Liz-less exercising, about halfway through the second circuit, a man came in the room to stretch. We didn’t acknowledge each other, and for some reason, I felt like a stand-up comedian playing to a humorless audience of one.
Before tonight, I had not realized how much I depended on Liz’s presence at the gym. She adds humanity and flair to my fitness, and without her, the experience is lifeless.