Roughly ten years ago, my boyfriend of four years and I broke up and I was at a loss for what to do with my life. I had moved to Savannah to live near him, and the only friends I had made were his friends. I quickly found myself lonely and bored. I randomly came across a group of runners who were about to begin training for a marathon in San Diego, California. I figured, why not? I have nothing else better to do! To make a long story short, I met the most amazing group of people. We all came in different shapes, sizes, ages, and walks of life. We all became best friends and helped support each other every step of the way. Running gave us all an outlet, confidence, and camaraderie. To this day, I still have strong friendships with each and every person from that original running group.
After I completed the marathon, I felt like I could conquer the world and I was ready for my next adventure. I joined a Crossfit gym and signed up for their six-week boot camp program. Once again, I met and made some of the most amazing people who are still my closest friends today. I even met my dear husband! I’m beyond thankful for the venture that Crossfit took me on. I built this incredible confidence in myself, and met an incredible group of friends (and husband!) that supported me and would do anything for me.
I’m no longer part of a running group or gym, but I still find other ways to exercise and socialize. I’ve built a strong friendship with my neighbor and we go for walks with our kids and dogs on the weekends. There’s no pressure to look nice, have a spotless house, or spend money. Yet, we get to spend quality time together.
The moral of the story is that exercise, whether it be running, walking, or going to the gym, is a great way to make friends and socialize. There’s no pressure to host a party, join the happy hour after work, or go out for drinks just to spend time together or socialize. Ask a friend to join you for a walk, or try out that new yoga class!