It’s weird when you accept someone’s fitness challenge and lose interest halfway through. You may tolerate all of this for the sake of your pride and friendship, but if it becomes too much, there are ways to politely end the activity.
Here are several things you can say and do to stop the challenge, broken down by individual circumstances.
1. You Were Entered into the Challenge, and It’s Still Not Fun: Be Honest
It is very common for one person to sweep the other in a situation, even if he is not actually involved. It’s even worse when the unwanted activity is a fitness challenge that requires some degree of experience and drive to do well, let alone enjoy.
If you’re well into a challenge and still hate it, it’s better to eliminate it slowly than blast through it. Considering it’s really affecting you emotionally, you have every right to stop for your own good.
The best approach to this kind of problem is honesty. Apologize to your partner, thank them for the opportunity, and explain that you tried the activity well, but it’s not to your liking, and you’re not enjoying it anymore.
2. You’re Embarrassed to Lose: Accept Defeat Gracefully
Feeling embarrassed because you’re losing the challenge is another good reason to end it. Before you go into a rage, though, you can take a more diplomatic approach that doesn’t insult your partner and put you down.
Once again as you bow out of the activity with a grin and a self-deprecating joke some honesty is necessary—if you feel like it. The most important thing is that you shake hands or hug him and acknowledge your friend’s skills. You can also ask him for fitness tips.
Finding the right words for different social situations is difficult, but you can practice and get better at it. Explore mobile apps that boost conversational skills or podcasts like Beth Buelo’s How Can I Do This on Spotify and apply what you learn to real-life conversations, especially unpleasant ones.
3. You’re Losing Your Challenge and Motivation: Suggest a Different Activity
Your reason for ending a challenge may be less about feeling embarrassed for losing and more about your dwindling motivation to do better.
There are ways to stay fit and motivated when it’s cold or too tough a challenge, but when an activity no longer feels rewarding, it may be time to stop. You can always pick it up later, so both you and your friend can enjoy the experience.
But how do you approach this social conundrum? First, explain that you liked the original activity but lost your motivation along the way. it happens. You can then gracefully bow out, as in the previous example, or move to a different activity that is more fun and less strenuous.
4. You’re Losing and Hurting: Suggest a Break to Recover
When it comes to fitness, avoid going beyond your pain threshold, or you’re likely to do real damage. This applies just as much to challenges, if not more so, because of how easily friendly competition can make you neglect your own well-being.
If you’ve taken a lot from your painful activity, this is another situation where honesty is best. Wherever you’re having pain, tell your partner and ask for a break for a few days or weeks if—and if—you feel up to the challenge again.
In terms of actually recovering from the experience, you have many options and tools available, from going for a massage to apps for pain relief and foam roller exercises for stretching.
5. You’re Winning, and It’s Infuriating Your Partner: Offer a Ceasefire
It could be that your friend is losing the once fun atmosphere and affecting it, in which case it may be wise to end the challenge early to avoid more conflict.
A gentle way to do this is to suggest a break or another activity that you might know your partner enjoys or is good at. Letting them win the challenge is also an option, but a competitive person won’t appreciate it.
On the other hand, you always have fake call apps for iOS and Android that can help you pretend to pause your activity for a while.
6. You’re Receiving Rude Comments and Want to Stop: Share Your Concern
There are many different fitness challenges today. Some, like the Great Run Couch to 5k Challenge, you can do in-person or virtually with a friend, but those are more or less private affairs.
However, others—like TikTok’s fitness challenges—are there for the world to see and comment on. The downside is the trolls who can spoil the whole experience with their negativity.
If you experience this a lot, and it’s affecting you badly, you should talk to your partner. Ask if you can either disable comments on your videos or end the challenge, as it’s more hurtful than fun at this point.