Every woman's magazine I've ever read gives its readers advice on exercising, and one of the most common tips I've seen is to find a partner to exercise with. In my experience, however, having an exercise partner is not a good idea. I have encountered five types of exercise partners, and I have concluded that it is definitely best to exercise alone.
The Drill Sergeant
My ex-boyfriend represents the Drill Sergeant. He is one of those people whose motto is "No pain, no gain." Of course, he assumes that everyone else follows this decree as well. He will try to push you to the limit every time you exercise with him, and can become nasty if you give up before he thinks you should. I refused to exercise with him after a few bad jogging experiences. I had expected that we would start slowly and only go for a short run. What a mistake! I was faltering after only a mile or so, and my ex took it personally that I wanted to stop. He started yelling things like "What are you? A quitter?" and, "You can't give up already!" I believe he was trying to inspire me, but his remarks had the reverse effect. I gave up immediately. The Drill Sergeant feels he must whip you into shape. He probably would, if you could stand being around him for that long.
The Coach is closely related to the Drill Sergeant but has a gentler approach. The Coach feels you need guidance to perform to your potential. My former roommate was the coach. She would cheer me on with phrases like, "You can do it!" and, "Just a little further!" Had I actually been on some sort of sports team with her as my coach, the comments would have been perfectly acceptable. They were meant to be words of encouragement, but they only ...
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...e and didn't want to get out of bed early. On day four her ankle was bothering her. On day five she was coming down with a cold. By day six, I had given up on my sister and was striking out on my own once again. It is possible to exercise with Lazy Bones if you catch her at the right time. If and when you figure out what this time is, please let me know. I have yet to piece that puzzle together.
Most people do not enjoy exercising. Why make it any less enjoyable by exercising with someone who will ultimately annoy you? All people are different, and with that comes different levels of physical fitness. It is nearly impossible to be on the exact level that someone else is at any given moment. When you are alone, you can set a pace comfortable for you. There are no outside pressures to worry about and no others to depend on. I have concluded it's the only way to go.
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