“You get more energy from exercise – quite ironic”
Simon wants to get in better shape but found it hard to get out the door. Now, he swims multiple times a month with his exercise buddy, Esben.
“I’m currently going through a pretty difficult period in my life. I have a hard time keeping a job which leads to spending a lot of time at home. So getting out and moving by body is really nice,” says Simon, who chose to get an exercise buddy through Red Cross Copenhagen.
The exercise buddies Simon and Esben meet twice a month to swim together. They were matched by a team leader who believed that they would be a good match. And that turned out to be completely accurate.
FIRST STEP IS TO GET OUT THE DOOR
When Simon and Esben first meet they went on a walk to get to know each other and to align their expectations.
“We clicked. There were no social awkwardness or weird vibe or anything of that sort,” Esben says, while smiling at Simon.
They quickly found out that they both enjoy swimming. Just a few days later they stood in front of the swimming pool with swimwear and towels in their bags, and they have been doing so in twice a month in the weeks when Esben is not out sailing.
Simon has tried various exercise programs for individuals with mental vulnerability, but had found it hard to stick to.
“If I missed it once, it becomes harder to show up next time because I failed to show up last time, and it becomes a vicious cycle,” Simon explains.
This is exactly why Simon is grateful to have Esben as his exercise buddy. It makes a huge difference to have one person counting on him.
“It’s easier to feel responsible for one person than a whole group, because a group can manage without me. It would be a bit silly if I didn’t participate in this,” Simon chuckles.
"ALL FORMS OF EXERCISE MAKE THE FUTURE EASIER"
When Simon is going through times, getting out the door can be the hardest part. But when they exercise together, Esben comes to pick him up.
“It’s fantastic that he is willing to come all the way to my front door,” Simon says.
The trips back and forth also provide some social interaction, allowing time for casual conversation.
“We usually walk back together. So we get a little outing out of it, where we chat along the way. It’s really nice, and it’s still a bit over half an hour of walking,” Esben explains.
The regular training days with Esben have also helped Simon get out of the door on other days of the week.
“All forms of exercise make the future easier. Getting out the door to exercise also helps with getting out the door for other things,” Simon explains.
INCREASE ENERGY THROUGH EXERCISE
One of the first things that comes to Simon’s mind when asked about what exercise buddies means to him is energy: “In addition to exercise, it also adds something extra to my daily life that provides additional energy.”
Simon also begins to notice it in his fitness level:
“There has probably been some progress in my fitness level. Maybe not as much as I would like, but I feel like it has improved a bit,” Simon says.
He mentions that they have also done some push-ups in their recent session: “And it’s definitely going better than the first time,” Esben adds.
Although it can be challenging to find the energy to be active, he finds that it’s also rewarding. “You get more energy from exercise – quite ironic,” Simon chuckles.