It’s tough to make friends as an adult. Frankly, most of the articles you’ll find on the topic tell you to join a group, like Derby City; but, they don’t tell you what to do next. There are enough members at this gym that you can absolutely find others who have similar desires as you. The trick is finding them among the 350+ people who enter our doors each week.
So, let’s hit on some actual (potentially) useful tips for making friends:
1. Speak Up – get involved and ask questions, not only to coaches, but to fellow classmates. Ask about the rep scheme, where equipment goes, how do they prefer to jump-up in weight during the Strength work, what’s their strategy for the WOD. Begin to have those little conversations, and reciprocate giving guidance to new faces. See someone with the deer in headlights look? “Hey, can I help with anything? Yea, S2O means… T2B means… “
2. Use the New App – the new Wodify Athlete app will make it easier to look at the results of those you compete with, would like to compete with, or are workout buddies/friends with… even if they are in a different class… and give you something to talk about with people. You can use the new Comment section on workout scores to congratulate someone, or to toss out some friendly smack-talk. Hell, you can be a little aspirational and tell Kristy Rizzo that you’re coming for her on a particular WOD (you ain’t gonna catch her, but it’s fun to imagine).
3. Location – put yourself in the middle of the class versus the back corner. Get into the action. Make a point to visit Saturday partner workouts or an Open Gym with a more casual, social feel. If you hang out on the edges, then it’s going to be harder to integrate yourself.
4. Repeat – ask someone about partnering up on an upcoming Saturday Team workout. Ask to share a barbell during Strength work with someone that you know will challenge you. And check back in with one another post-workout! Try to partner up with someone every time you’re in class, even if there’s enough space for everyone to have their own spot on the rig. Friendships boil down to repeated contacts.
5. Think Outside the Box – you don’t have to talk about the gym all the time. Branch out… “Did you catch “the game” this weekend? Have you seen “whatever” on Netflix? What’s your favorite steak restaurant in town? Do you have a good mechanic?”
6. Stay in the Group – come to a Derby City class, frequently and consistently. Stay in the gym. Doing so makes it a lot easier to stay in contact and a lot easier to maintain those new friendships. Ask people about partnering up on a Saturday WOD, meeting up for drinks on a weekend, and/or seeing them in class the next day.
There you have it. Six practical tips. If you don’t need the tips, then you don’t need the tips. But some might. We’re a huge gym and making new friends as an adult is hard; but, doing so with people who have similar interests is important when it comes to your fitness. You need to surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you do. And as you age, you may find that your high school or college friends have different schedules, lives, or goals than you. You’re trying to get fit and maybe they just don’t have the time for it. So, making an concerted effort to find friends here at Derby City is important for keeping yourself on track for those fitness goals.