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Working Out as a Couple

Posted Apr 23 2012 4:05pm

Hi, I’m Emily from . I’m so thrilled to be sharing today on Carrots ‘n’ Cake — nice to “meet” all of you. Tina and Mal have been an inspiration to me, particularly when it comes to working out as a couple. My husband, Matt, and I will celebrate four years of marriage in July. Even when dating, we have always enjoyed being active together, whether it’s playing Ultimate Frisbee across the country or doing CrossFit at our friend’s home gym. It helps us stay fit and keep our “team of two” going strong.

matt_emily_engagement (504x336)

For our engagement photos we went to a field where we played with a disc and some cleats. We even had regulation size discs as our wedding favors.

Yet, the road to working out together started off a little rocky. Everyone goes into working out with sensitivities and insecurities. In the beginning, our Frisbee practices would be a few hours late at night in the cold a few times a week. After a while, it wasn’t as much fun anymore. My people-pleasing nature would lead me to feel guilty for not wanting to go and that Matt would be disappointed or mad about it. (It sounds silly, but it was true!) My resentment and frustration bottled up until I couldn’t take it anymore. As it turns out, Matt totally understood and just wanted me to be happy. Being on the same page allowed me the freedom to workout on my terms. Since then, we’ve learned some things about what works for us when it comes to staying fit together.

Be clear and honest about your workout goals. What do you want out of doing this activity? What will your time commitment be? Are you willing to change your diet? Being honest with your goals and communicating them to your spouse is the best way to start. It will save you from arguments and hurt feelings down the road.

garage metcon (612x612)

Doing a metcon in our garage with double-unders, airsquats, burpees and pushups.

Do things you both enjoy. We obviously both enjoy Ultimate Frisbee and were also really drawn to CrossFit. Yet, while I enjoy hiking for the scenery and camaraderie, he prefers rock climbing or snowboarding. We try to keep our activities balanced and varied to make up for the preferences, or sometimes we just do our own thing which is OK, too.

emily national champ (537x720)

Me with my gold medal after my team won the mixed division national championship in Ultimate Frisbee in 2010.

Coach and be coached. It may take a lot of patience, but one of the most fun things is to learn a new skill from your spouse. Matt taught me how to throw a Frisbee and to wakeboard. There were plenty of frustrating moments, but with clear and kind instruction it can be one of the best ways to bond. Practice in these situations has carried over to our relationship, too, and has helped us when things get tough.

home gym crossfit (612x612)

Learning to clean from our CrossFit pro friend in his garage.

Encouragement is key. In your actions, but just as importantly your words, be the best support you can be. It may take some time to know when to challenge and when to compliment. You may even have to give pointers on what helps you most (preferably discussed before the workout!). Overall, be their biggest fan. Days can be long and stressful, isn’t it the best knowing that your partner has your back? You feel like you can tackle the world … or at least get a new push press PR!

Thanks, Tina, for having me over at CNC today!

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