How a Virtual Fitness Challenge Helped Me “Hang Out” With My Best Friend

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I’m so grateful to live in the same city (in fact, the very same neighborhood!) as one of my best friends – but because of our busy schedules in the late winter, immediately followed by social distancing, we haven’t seen each other in months.

So, like most, we’ve been relying on phone calls, emails, FaceTimes, and endless texting chains. It helps, especially when one of us needs to express how we’re feeling during these incredibly trying, unprecedented times – but it’s not nearly the same as running a race together, walking for hours through the city, or taking a Spin class and then grabbing a smoothie.

The Barry’s Social Fitnessing Challenge had impeccable timing.

In an effort to boost our own personal at-home fitness routines, we both signed on to complete 20 virtual Barry’s at Home classes in 30 days. My goals: unload a massive amount of stress, relieve tension, build muscle, get better at burpees, and frankly, just complete the challenge.

Since I had only ever taken one Barry’s class in the Red Room before (the Barry’s studio), I felt relieved knowing a friend was going through the physically demanding program with me – I knew we’d encourage one another to keep going when multiple sets of pushups seemed impossible.

I’m proud to say I accomplished what I sought out to do, but what I loved most about the challenge was that it gave me an opportunity to “hang out” with my friend.

Given the current circumstances, we certainly couldn’t meet up in a cafe right now and plan our next big trip, but we could plan to take Mike P.’s Saturday morning bodyweight class together.

Even seeing her name in the virtual guest list lifted my spirits and motivated me to push through each circuit – especially because we planned to very thoroughly discuss the class after via a FaceTime coffee date.

As the challenge went on, we’d chat about what classes we signed up for, fill each other in on our favorite instructors, and discuss all the brutal moves.

I’ll be honest: seeing each other for an in-person yoga class is far better than any form of communication. But, until then, I’m so thankful for live virtual workout classes that allow me to feel connected to dear friends.

So, yes, let’s tackle that core-strengthening challenge next!

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