Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Needs Own Time at the Gym

DEAR HARRIETTE: I go to the gym with a girlfriend almost every day. It’s good because it keeps me motivated. The downside is that my friend is much fitter than I am. She can run rings around me in the gym. She doesn’t do anything intentionally to show me up, but she’s just stronger and fitter. I want to keep going with her, but I need to remind her that we are at different levels. She wants us to go in on a trainer together, but I don’t think I should train with her. I need to work at my own level, not try to reach hers. I don’t want to offend her, but I don’t want to do that with her. What should I say? -- Need Personal Training, Atlanta

DEAR NEED PERSONAL TRAINING: Be upfront with your friend. She has to know that she is fitter than you. Just tell her that you think what is best for you is individualized coaching that is designed to support your level of fitness. You can thank her for going with you to the gym, as it is keeping you engaged. But make it clear that you need to draw the line regarding training. Honestly, it will be better for her to have individual training for herself as well.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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