Bridging Friends and Fitness

By Malik Baldwin – BS Health and Fitness Management, Schwinn Cycle Instructor, AFAA Primary GF Instructor 

I recently had a conversation with a family member of mine who I didn’t know enjoyed similar fitness activities that I do. The conversation began like any other when catching up amongst family members that you may have not seen in a while. He told me that he drove trucks, so in order tostay fit he picked up some healthy hobbies in the process.  He’s an avid runner and biker in the metro Atlanta area and is even apart of a couple fitness groups. I just sat there in awe because I had no knowledge that anyone outside of my younger cousins and siblings remained physically active. He expressed to me the previous events he participated in and turns out he ran a 5k/10k that I recently won in my age group and didn’trealize he was there as well. We chatted about a lot of different fitness topics, but my main concern was “How did he make friends or find other like-minded individuals who shared the same passion?” 

A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the world of obstacle races or mud runs. I accomplished my 1st race about a year ago and fell in love with the culture of these events. For one, they’re extremely fun and as a former athlete it was a great way to stay in shape while having a challenging but fun event to do a couple times a year. Since that event I have longed to find others who would even do such things like running groups and biking groups. It seems to me that there aren’t a lot of people who share the same active passions that I still possess. So, my question is how do you connect with people who share similar passions? Hang out around places that spark your interests. Go to the mud run, attend the 5k, try intramural sports and go to your local recreation centers or gyms and look for information posted. We hardly ever look twice at events and postings. If you are in school, head to the activities center to see what’s happening in your communities. You can be sure to make a new friend or two and bring a current to bridge the gap! 

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