“Working out…with your boyfriend.”

They say couples that lift together, stay together. And of course, I hope that’s true! But it’s not necessarily the reality. I mean, I love my boyfriend very much. But I remember a day, two years ago so vividly that it could have happened yesterday or an hour ago. A day that hopefully I am not alone in experiencing. The day my world imploded – he wanted to workout with me.

Once I picked myself up of the floor and asked “what happened”, he reiterated his novel idea to me once again. A second black-out later, and I managed to compute the words he was saying to me – “I want to workout with you. Can you help me?” A part of me was thrilled! He had never expressed interest in muscle growth or gain. In fact I wondered why he was even with me as he used to hate muscular guys (which obviously made me spiral out of control with dysmorphic thoughts) but he’d got into running – so much so he went on a few years later to run the London bloody Marathon. It was his ‘thing’. He liked to run.

And my thing? I liked to pick up heavy objects and put them down again in a room full of other men doing the same thing. When you analyse weightlifting, its weird and many have their own reasons for doing it. My reasons are aesthetic (oh come on!) and also I found it stress busting. The gym was my own little world where I could plug my headphones in, listen to MY music and problem solve in my mind while my body ‘pumps iron’.

So why the HELL did my boyfriend want to abandon HIS thing. Essentially, his own little world to join mine?!

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Cold and mean. I know that’s what it sounds like. And I realised that so we went to the gym together. I taught him some routines at the gym and, with a clenched jaw, helped him work out. I once did this with a friend when I was 18. I didn’t workout myself, as I was using my precious time in the gym training HIM! Selfish, let’s add that to ‘cold and mean’ – which is what I’m coming across like. The fact is, my boyfriend and I are different sizes and are at different strengths. I found it tough as I was spending longer in the gym sharing and changing the equipment but…I started to enjoy it. And I saw changes in him quickly, as he was new to weight lifting. Which I obviously liked.

Once I shifted my selfishness, he had decided he wanted more from his workouts and made his own routine.

I was gym dumped.

We now go to the gym together, but we don’t train the same body part or use the same stuff. You’ll often find us at opposite ends of the gym, just getting on with it. He’s found his own little world with it.


You can find my boyfriend (who edits this site, and so can sneak messages in without me knowing) on Instagram.

This article was originally printed in Gay Times magazine.

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