The presidential challenge

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. Read her weekly ‘Lighten Up’ fitness blog online at 

By Cathleen Kronemer

When it comes to studying history, I am admittedly not a huge fan.  In college, I was a Microbiology major, a field which continued to hold my attention during the years I spent as a research scientist.  However, one historic figure will always stand out for me, and that is Abraham Lincoln.

The following quote has been attributed to this great American president:

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”

The power impregnated within those words is monumental. On whatever level you choose to interpret the quote, I believe you will always find positive energy radiating from it. In my current profession, I see this dynamic played out almost daily in the gym.

As hard as it is for me to believe, it has been brought to my attention that (gasp!) not everybody loves to exercise!  For those of you who find it difficult to dredge up motivation for the gym, one of the best investments you can make is in a workout partner.  A dedicated friend with similar goals and schedule parameters might be the one tool that is missing from your gym bag.

Consider Abraham Lincoln’s words once again.  If you had a friend whom you didn’t wish to let down, you would make the time to keep your “gym date” with that individual, no matter what, right?  Believing in your friend makes it easier for you to remain accountable to your own goals, too.  Once this motion has been set into place, a natural rhythm will ensue, and you both might even find yourselves pushing each other to try new exercises, challenging each other to lifting slightly heavier weights than you did the week before, and encouraging each other to finally set foot into the Group Exercise Room and take that new aerobics class.

Before you know it, the two of you are staring SUCCESS in the face…all because neither one of you wanted to let the other one down.  What an easy and beautiful system!  So find a trusted friend, believe in him or her, and by not letting that person down you shall be lifting yourself up to new successful heights!

Maybe I should reconsider history, after all…