Meet Workout Buddies: Laura and Meridith
Workout buddies, Laura Brothers and Meridith Haskins, wake up before the sun to start their workout at 5:00am. They meet in the wellness center, three times a week. Meridith brings the notebooks, and keeps track of their workouts and tracks their progress.
“I really think, honestly and truly, that no matter how hard your workout is, getting out of bed is the hardest part,” said Meridith. “People always ask how we do it. We just do it. You get into the routine.”
The two women met in April 2014, while playing flag football for the Alzheimer’s Association. Every year, the Alzheimer’s Association hosts a Blondes vs. Brunettes football game to raise money for the cause.
“We’ve raised more than a half a million dollars since it began,” said Laura, whose father-in-law suffered from the disease. “It’s a great event.”
2014 was Meridith’s first year playing for the cause. Her son’s football coach recruited her for the event and she landed on Laura’s team.
“That’s why I started working out in the first place,” Meridith said. “I didn’t know what age group I was going to be in and I didn’t want to be the grandma on the field.”
Both women smiled, as if they were recalling the same memory.
“I knew that she worked out at the Y,” Laura said, standing in the Wellness Center. “I was a member too, but hardly ever used my membership. This room is intimidating, so I asked Meridith if I could work out with her.”
From that point on, they became each other’s rock, relying on one another for support and also for the extra push.
“The other day I got a personal record in lifting,” Laura beamed. “I was struggling, but Meridith knew I could do it so she was just yelling, I’m not helping you. Do it! Until I did it.’”
The same goes for their bad days.
“We support one another. We pick each other up,” Laura added. “Like, she knew the other day that I was so disappointed. I was trying to lift something I couldn’t lift. Meridith was texting me all day, sending me inspirational quotes.”
“We are our worst critics,” Meridith agreed. “Lifting is so fickle. It depends on what you ate, and it depends on what time you worked out. It depends on what’s going on around you, and what you did the day before. We could be in here on Monday and by Friday, you’re doing 10 pounds less. So you kind of get in your own head, like, why can’t I do it? That’s when you need a friend—to talk you off the bridge.”
That’s why having a workout buddy is key.
“Working out with a partner may not be for everyone. You have to think about what your goals are. I don’t think I could work out with most of my friends,” said Meridith. “The biggest part is knowing that someone is here waiting for you, or you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a certain confidence that comes to trying new things with a partner.”
A few months after they started working out together, Laura injured herself playing football.
“We took a hiatus,” Laura said. “But, it was working out with Meridith that helped me recover. They said if I wasn’t in the shape that I was, the recovery would have been much worse.”
Since they had been working out together for a few months already, Laura had a partner who knew her potential and could push her to get back to that spot.
“When she came back, she had a starting point. She knew what she was capable of before the injury, so she had something to work towards,” Meridith added.
Since then, they’ve been working together to reach new heights.
“The first time Meridith put on those 45lb weights, I was like, I don’t know if I can do this,” Laura said. “I couldn’t do it for a long time. I would try and try, but the day I got it, I was on cloud nine,” she said, smiling. Her accomplishment still painted on her face. “We were texting all day about it. We were so excited.”
“There aren’t very many women I know who can bench the 45lb weights,” Meridith said. “We should be proud of that.”
These ladies don’t only spend time on the weights, they are constantly working to step out of their comfort zone.
“I’m trying to get into running,” Laura said. “Meridith runs.”
“She ran her first 5K this year!” Meridith said, patting Laura on the back. “That’s a good example of why we work, though. If she didn’t like running and I didn’t like running, we would put that treadmill off forever. You have to pair up with someone who pushes you.”
“Running is my kryptonite,” Laura joked.
“I did a 5K for my 40th birthday. I didn’t do great, but I finished,” Meridith said. “So I decided to do one a month for a whole year. I’m all about numbers, so that’s why I think I took to lifting. Like, one day if I lift 100 pounds, I want to see if I can get to 105 the next day.”
Laura nodded in agreeance.
“I like competition,” added Meridith. “She’s like that too. That’s why we work.”