Meet-cutes are the life force of any rom-com. It’s the moment at the beginning of the story where two people meet and you just know they’re going to get together in the end. Since today’s Valentine’s Day, can we all take a minute to remember the iconic scene from Love Actually, where the prime minister (Hugh Grant) meets his nervous secretary, Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), and she just can’t stop swearing in front of her new boss. For those two, it’s a meet-cute story they’ll tell to their fictional children. But if you ask me, these kind of love at first sight scenarios go beyond person-to-person interactions. We can have a meet-cute with a destination, with ourselves (you know, Arianna Grande-style), or, of course, our workouts.
When I asked my colleagues about this idea, everyone had a ca-yute story to share about the first time they tried [insert workout here]. Sure, finding true love on the treadmill next to you at Orange Theory sounds like a fantasy. But IMO, discovering a workout that will be your forever-date for getting sweaty is what I’m after.
Below, Well+Good staffers share the meet-cutes that led to real commitment.
Barry’s Bootcamp: Rachel Lapidos, Beauty & Fitness Editor
“As soon as I walked into the studio, I turned into the heart-eyed emoji. The music was blasting, the lights were red, and I got onto the treadmill ready to try out Barry’s Bootcamp for the very first time. I love strength training and HIIT and running, and Barry’s is the perfect mix of them all. I pushed myself hard, sprinting harder than I ever have before. (Thanks, Barry’s, for always suggesting a sprint of at least 9.0 or higher.)
“I used more incline than, well, I’m inclined to do when left to my own devices. After the exhilarating hour was over, I was drenched and felt so incredibly strong. Everything about Barry’s Bootcamp speaks to me and it will forever be my first fitness love.”
SoulCycle: Zoe Weiner, Associate Beauty & Fitness Editor
“The first time I did SoulCycle six years ago, it was hours after I found out the guy I was dating (and, okay, completely obsessed with) was moving to London the following week. I was crushed, and all I wanted to do was wallow in my sadness on the couch. But I dragged myself to a class at the recommendation of a friend and spent 45 minutes tapping it back and singing along and losing myself in what was going on around me.
“The only thing I can even really compare it to is a religious experience—it was the first time I ever cried during a workout, and I finally understood what people were talking about when they talked about actually ENJOYING exercise. When the class was over, even though my situation with this guy still sucked, I felt weirdly better. Now, six years later, the first thing I do when I’m having a shitty day or feeling anxious or going through something challenging is book myself a seat on a bike.”
“The only thing I can even really compare it to is a religious experience—it was the first time I ever cried during a workout, and I finally understood what people were talking about when they talked about actually ENJOYING exercise.”
Running: Kells McPhillips, News Writer
“‘I can’t run!’ was my unofficial mantra back in high school. Back then, I believed that the world divided into two types of people: Those who got up at ungodly hours to log more miles than the hour in the day and normal people. That still might be the case, but now I’ve joined the former camp. While reluctantly running a 5K with my uncle after my freshman year of college, I had a quiet ‘a-ha!’ around mile one. I felt my heart beating and sweat dripping down my brow and I thought, ‘Huh, I could do this for the rest of my life’.”
Swerve (and more specifically, the blowdryer in swerve’s bathroom): Alexis Gutter, Senior Lifestyle Editor
“I’ve always been a pretty lazy exerciser. I lean into workouts that don’t necessarily require a shower afterward, and sway away hard from options that throw off my twice-a-week hair-washing schedule. But in the spirit of heart health and general fitness guidelines, I forced myself to irregularly do some sweaty cardio—until Swerve tricked me into not needing to force it. Well, not Swerve’s workout, but the blowdryer in its bathroom. The first time I met that sleek, mint-green Harry Josh accessory, I was a changed woman.
“At Swerve, I didn’t dread washing my hair after the sweaty spin sesh (or not, to the dismay of my grossed-out husband and probably so many other people who don’t have the chutzpah to tell me they think I’m gross). I looked forward to it. It dried my hair expertly, quickly, and the effect was smooth and shiny, and I was in love. Still definitely not in love with spinning until I can’t breathe, but my heart’s better for it—and so is my hair.”
“At Swerve, I didn’t dread washing my hair after the sweaty spin sesh (or not, to the dismay of my grossed-out husband and probably so many other people who don’t have the chutzpah to tell me they think I’m gross).”
Hit House: Jessie Van Amburg, Senior Health & Food Editor
“I showed up at Hit House not expecting to like or enjoy kickboxing (since I’ve been burned by so many other kinds of workouts before). But the 45 minutes I spent there wailing into a punching bag with my fists and feet was so empowering and transcendent. I knew that I’d never love any other workout the same way ever again.”
Yoga: Melanie Lewis, Ad Operations Coordinator
“I took my first yoga class in 2009 when I still had the preconceived notion that yoga was for granola-eating gypsies who didn’t shave their legs and danced around in flower crowns. It was after the 60 minute session that I realized how wrong I was, and what a workout I had just gotten. I felt both energized and relaxed at the same time and felt a total-body soreness the following day. Not to mention EVERYONE in the class including the instructor was so cool and open minded. 10 years later, I’m in the process of getting my yoga teacher certification!”
If you’re still on-the-hunt for your workout sweetheart, here’s why you might want to check out audio fitness apps and the best yoga videos on YouTube.
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