I have seen it happen time, and time again. A person falls behind with their personal fitness; either they have never had it, or they have had it and let it slip away as adulthood manifested and responsibility set in. Some are fortunate though and are able to earn it, or to earn it back through hard work, perseverance, and consistency.
In a friendship, this can often leave a gap – some distance between the one who makes their personal fitness an increased priority, and one who views their body as a vehicle of forgivable sin. There can be resentment, frustration an increased stress on the friendship, and even a feeling of being left behind by one party.
This always breaks my heart. I can’t imagine not supporting a friend who strives to better his or her life. Often times this increased focus on personal fitness is viewed, or rationalized, by the outside friend as an obsession. Having been exposed to these situations so often, I rarely see this as a real obsession. It’s an appreciation and a commitment; an appreciation of being able to do, feel, and experience more in life, and a commitment to the lifestyle which enables that appreciation.
Here’s an open memo to the friends “left behind” everywhere: Be supportive of your friend in pursuit of change. Be understanding of the sacrifices required to make that change. Perhaps, you could even be inspired by said fitness-obsessed friend, and make some changes too… rc