4. Katherine Lauria: A Built-In Friend Finder
“Exercise is a universal interest and I’ve learned that people love sharing it with each other.”
Katherine Lauria never gave exercise a second thought. Though her friends would go to group fitness classes on the weekends followed by brunch, she’d skip the workout and join the dining. Her only exposure to breaking a sweat was high school gym class years ago. “I think I actually got a C in it just for being uncooperative,” Lauria laughs. “It was never my hobby.”
That is, until she and a friend decided to sign up for Soul Cycle in her New Jersey hometown. “We were laughing about it, saying it was going to be so hard and we weren’t going to keep up,” says Lauria, 26. “But after that first class, I felt very accomplished when it was over. I mean it was hard, but me and my friend looked at each other and thought, ‘We just did the same thing as those people and we fit in.’”
Two years and 150 classes later, Lauria has shed 65 pounds, along with her disdain for fitness. In fact, a few months after taking regular Soul Cycle classes, she felt confident enough to give other workouts a try, like running, Pilates and personal training. But Lauria’s favorite pay-off of all that sweat: the connections she’s made with others — especially after her recent move to London from D.C.
“[When I moved to London], I’d meet a friend at a fitness studio and then make a date to go try a new workout. Exercise is a universal interest and I’ve learned that people love sharing it with each other,” says Lauria. She recalls when working out wasn’t even something she considered doing, and now it’s one of her favorite ways to spend the day. “I exercise just because I enjoy it now. It’s a great way to feel productive with your alone time or to meet other people.”