It’s awkward when you take on someone’s fitness challenge and lose interest halfway through. You can put up with it all for the sake of your pride and friendship, but if it becomes too much, there are ways to end the act politely.
Here are a number of things you can say and do to stop the challenge and break down in the different situations you encounter. Take note of these tips and try to adapt them to your friend’s reasons for not liking fitness activities.
1. You’ve been challenged and it’s still not fun: Be honest
It is very common for one person to brush off another in a situation, even though the latter is not actually in it. It’s even worse when the unnecessary activity is a fitness challenge that requires some experience and motivation to perform well.
If you’re good at a challenge and still hate it, it’s better to finish slowly than to explode. Considering that this is really affecting you emotionally, you have every right to stop for your own good.
The best approach to this type of problem is honesty. Apologize to your partner, thank them for the opportunity, and explain that it was a nice try, but it wasn’t to your liking and you weren’t having fun.
2. You’re Embarrassed for Losing: Accept failure gracefully
Embarrassment because you lost the challenge is another good reason to want to finish it. However, before you storm off, you can take a diplomatic approach that doesn’t insult your partner and humiliate you.
Some honesty is necessary again as you bow out of action with a smile and self-deprecating humor. The most important thing is that you acknowledge your friend’s talent with a handshake or a hug. You can ask them for fitness tips.
Finding the right words for different social situations can be difficult, but you can practice and get better at it. Explore mobile apps that improve conversational skills or podcasts like Beth Buelow’s How Do I Say It on Spotify and apply what you’ve learned to real-life interactions that are especially unpleasant.
3. You lose your challenge and motivation: suggest a different activity
Your reason for wanting to end a challenge may be less about embarrassment for failure and more about your waning motivation to do better.
There are ways to stay fit and motivated when it’s cold or the challenge is too tough, but when the activity is no longer rewarding, it may be time to call it quits. You can always pick it up again later so you and your friend can enjoy the experience.
But how do you approach this social puzzle? First, explain that you loved the original activity but lost your motivation along the way. It will happen. You can bow gracefully, as in the previous example, or switch to another activity that is more fun and less strenuous.
4. You’re losing and hurting: Recommend a break to heal
When it comes to exercise, avoid pushing yourself beyond your pain threshold, or you could do real damage. This applies to challenges, and if not, how easily friendly competition can make you ignore your well-being.
Another situation where honesty is best is if your painful activity is enough for you. Wherever you are hurting, tell your partner and ask for a few days or weeks off.
When it comes to actually recovering from the experience, you have many options and tools, from massage to applications with foam roller exercises for pain relief and stretching.
5. You win and it affects your partner: Offer a deal
Your friend may have lost a once-fun environment and become vulnerable, in which case it may be worth ending the challenge early to avoid more conflict.
A gentler way to do that is to suggest a break or other activity that you know your partner enjoys or is good at. Allowing them to win the challenge is also an option, but a contestant won’t appreciate it.
Then again, you always have fake call apps for iOS and Android that can help you create an excuse to stop your activity for the time being.
There are many different fitness challenges today. Some, like the Great Run Soph to 5k challenge, you can do virtually in person or with a friend, but those are more or less private affairs.
However, things like TikTok’s fitness challenges—are there for the world to see and comment on. The negativity of trolls can spoil the whole experience with their negativity.
If you experience this too much and it affects you badly, you should talk to your partner. Ask if you can turn off comments on your videos or end the challenge, because at this point it’s more offensive than fun.
7. Something urgent has come up: Apologize, then continue the challenge
For example, because you have a family or work emergency, you can’t really keep up with the challenge. In this case, you have no choice but to explain what your situation is.
If you enjoy the activity, suggest picking up where you left off later. It’s just a temporary break from your fitness goals. If the challenge isn’t fun to begin with, you can screw it up entirely.
Some fitness challenges are not for everyone
It’s so easy to admit it before you realize there’s nothing in it. When you’re doing it with a partner, like a fitness challenge, it’s really hard to get out of the situation.
But use the right words and you can complete the activity without hurting anyone’s feelings. Honesty is often essential in a smooth, tactful exchange. At the same time, you have access to nifty apps that help you exercise or escape social situations.
However, the best solution is to avoid these types of bindings. So, learn about fitness challenges and what works best for you alone.