Ever since I learned there was such a thing as a Partner WOD, I have been terrified by the beast. I hate them. They scare me more than anything. I know, always, I suck as a partner. I’m the oldest person in the gym. I have issues. I’m not very strong. I’m not very fast. I’m not very anything except determined. And the “real” athletes are far superior to my feeble self. I never pick a partner. I let the last man standing get stuck with me.

Since the beginning, people have planned around that. They know I won’t ask anyone so they quickly pair up and the last idiot left gets stuck with me. You need to plan better, folks.

Laura heard someone complaining about getting stuck with an inferior partner. She says this happened in an evening class and didn’t refer to me, but I totally understand the problem. Getting stuck with me can ruin your day. Getting stuck with another inferior person would have the same effect. I get it. Laura didn’t like it.

She got the Red Bag. We draw lots and we match up and that’s your partner. No buddies working out together all the time. Each time, you get your number and pair up with the other person with that number and that’s your partner. Too bad. Make it work.

And here I am. Partnering up with people who know me from Saturday partner crap and have watched how limited I am in everything. Still, no one has sighed audibly or rolled their eyes that I could see. They just accept their fate and I feel sorry for them.

We have been doing this for a few weeks and it is working out okay, but the regular folks who have their besties for partners aren’t really liking this new thing.

Let me tell you why it is a good idea. Changing partners gives you a different workout. Those who are stuck with me get to shine in areas where I might not be able to do anything at all. They have to manage their time/efforts to match someone unequal to their skills. That is a new skill to master.

This week, I have been paired first with Kylie and then with Jason. Both of these people are incredibly strong, talented, able to do the things, and RX everything all the time. And then there is me. And yet, they managed to let me feel like a full participant in the workouts. I held up my end as best I could with a scaled version of shit, while they did their RX version of the shit.

We got reasonable scores, but these powerhouses were unable to get the best score on the boards because, quite frankly, I’m not ever a best score on the board type of person. I try. I try really hard. It’s just that I’m sixty-five and have a host of issues, a list of doctors, and I’m on Medicare for God’s sake. I can’t keep up with the youngsters in their forties. Hell, I got a kid in his forties.

And both of the superior athletes didn’t die when they were stuck with me. They coped. They worked around my limitations. They worked with me to make sure we both had a good workout. They let me feel like a full partner.

This is why it is good to change partners. You learn to work with and around a variety of people and make your workout a joy to share. It’s not always sunshine and roses. You don’t always get your best friend to partner with. Sometimes you are stuck with the old lady. That makes your strategy for the day change. Or at least it should.

I feel bad when the Red Bag comes out because I know I ruin someone’s day. They would never have picked me for the workout. And yet, I hope against hope, that I’m not too disappointing and that they can manage to work around the feeble old lady who tries as hard as she can while they zoom around and past and do awesome things.

We all have our challenges and if you think it is annoying to have me as a partner, you should try having to be me for every single workout I do.