What a Duo Can Do

Workout partners for 18 years, Bill Lester and Leslie Reschly meet for early morning calisthenics at the Southport waterfront to help Leslie get back in her workout routine. Courtesy photos

Workout partners for 18 years, Bill Lester and Leslie Reschly meet for early morning calisthenics at the Southport waterfront to help Leslie get back in her workout routine. Courtesy photos

Happy 2015! As you rounded the new year, you may have considered making some of those infamous resolutions to get you back on track. You know—this year you are going to lose weight, exercise, stop smoking or eat a healthier diet. This tradition has had me pondering earlier than January 1st, and I have a confession to make: I have fallen off the exercise routine!

Blame it on work, deadlines, travel, family obligations, weather or whatever excuse, I have found myself out of the practice of regular exercise over the past several months, just like several of you. Feeling out of sorts, I reached out using some of the same techniques I have suggested to you readers over the past two years and got back on track! Perhaps my story will help you stay up on your fitness goals.

Many years ago on a church trip I got to know a friend who remains in my life today. Bill Lester and I have been off/on workout partners since early 1996. (At least we think it was around then, but that was a long time ago!) I can recall this timeframe because I had three children less than age 5 at home and a spouse who often had to work at night.

We scheduled our exercise time typically 6 or 6:30 a.m., and often we stayed close to my house in case my husband, a doctor, had to leave abruptly and I needed to return to be with the children. At that time, cell phones were around but a lot bigger in size and more cumbersome!

health-jan2015Bill and I started running and, eventually, he coerced me into trying calisthenics, which is defined as light exercises to promote fitness. We met at least weekly for several years on the Southport waterfront to utilize the benches and equipment available while doing toe raises, ab work, etc.

Over the past 18 years, several other workout partners have come and gone but Bill remains. We eventually drifted apart after we both started new jobs and had new demands—in fact, he capitalized on his love of fitness and began training others until recently. Needing motivation, I reached out to him around Thanksgiving and he promptly agreed to meet me at the waterfront where we fell right back into our tried and true calisthenics routine.

As we met one December week in 29-degree weather, he made the comment that has always held true. He said, “Well, I knew you would be here even though it was cold.”

I could not have said it better. Despite the cold weather of the morning, I had made a promise to be there just as he made the promise to me. This accountability, along with our competitive personalities, has kept us motivating each other over the years. For the past three years, we have made a pact to run the 4th of July Freedom Run together. Even if one of us is not at the top of our game on the race day,  we vow to stay together and finish the race together, even if we stop to walk. Perhaps due to my competitive nature,  I can honestly say that he makes me work harder. Because of this relationship, I have been able to pull myself back into a routine by myself on certain days and with Bill once a week just in time for the new year!

I share this story because it really does bring home for me the point that finding someone who will regularly meet with you and encourage you may help you meet your fitness resolutions. This may be a trainer, a co-worker or even someone from your church. In fact, it may be a pet! My granddog Sadie is surely a motivation for me to get out and walk when she comes to visit.

Whatever changes you need to make for your health, make 2015 the year to do it! Don’t put it off any longer. Any step is better than sitting on the couch! Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015!

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