Life in Balance: Joining a group

By Chad Murphy | News Editor Published:

Because of the weather last week, I missed a few days of cycling. It was too cold or snowy to be out, and I'm burned out on riding the indoor trainer after a long winter; I just couldn't drag it out.

All of this makes me glad my cycling club has started back up for the spring. I've been out for two group rides so far. It's been nice to catch up with everyone and have some friends to ride along with.

I ride when my schedule permits, so I usually ride alone. I just grab my bike and go. I enjoy this; I can ride fast or slow, for long or short distances, and to whatever destination I choose. But what I don't like it that I don't get much feedback. I can tell if I'm improving by tracking my average speed and mileage, but I don't know how I compare against others.

So last year, a few months after picking up the bike again, I tried a few group rides with the local club. I wanted that feedback I was missing, but more importantly I needed the social interaction with people who enjoy the same hobby.

This helps keep me motivated in a few ways. I enjoy the company, and want to stay able to participate in the rides to be part of the group. Also, there's always someone better. Chasing these people makes me want to improve, too. Lastly, the rides are just more fun with more people along. If I'm enjoying myself, I'm more likely to continue the activity.

So, if you're struggling to stay active, find some friends to participate. Schedule a group walk or run, or find a partner to hit the gym with on a regular basis. It might make it easier to keep up with your exercise regimen, and you might even have fun. And that is just as important.

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