Value 7: the social aspect is just as important as exercise

Published on July 15, 2019

As you know, Friskis&Svettis is a sports organization entirely run by volunteers. But it’s more than that. Its members, instructors included, volunteer their time, energy and skills because they believe in it and what it represents.

Did you know that, when they graduate, each Friskis instructor is given a book listing the 12 Friskis values? These values encapsulate all the lessons and teachings that the instructors learn during their months of training and get to the heart of what exercising with Friskis is about.

To that end we have asked our volunteers (instructor, host, board members, etc.) to share their favorite Friskis values and to describe what it means to them how it helps them in their friskis role. It represents both an illustration of what we believe in as an organisation as well as to better show just how these people turn a sports experience into a Friskis experience.

We are Friskis. These are our values.



Antonio is is one of our most dedicated instructors. His runners swear that his genuine support and encouragement has helped them reach goals and achievements that they never thought possible! He has such a loyal following that we should not have been surprised when he told us that his favorite Friskis value was: THE SOCIAL ASPECT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS EXERCISE.

“Sports have always been an integral part of my life. Judo, tennis, cycling, running and more recently barbell/weight lifting. Had I not qualified as conference interpreter, I would have chosen sports coaching.

I like the challenge of the sport activity for what it brings: development of body abilities, the great feeling of endorphins, the sense of accomplishment, the healthy attitude to life … However, I always practised sports with focus on performance and competition … Until I joined Friskis!

That’s right! Friskis changed dramatically my vision of how to engage into sports.
Fast rewind … I was invited to try out a running session about 4 years ago. It was a running distance session with Jorge. I discovered an entirely new pleasure. I was running with people and I actually thought “well, that’s more fun than running on my own!”. I joined the next session and the next … experiencing the same pleasure of conviviality, exchange, distraction while doing what I like most: running! I enjoyed this angle to running so much that when Jorge suggested that I join the club as an instructor, it just made perfect sense!


When I got my certification as a running instructor, I thought I would bring a different approach and focus on how to become a better runner, with attention to specific training programs, speed targets … I was all wrong! Our members are not looking for performance. Sure, they will get better along the way, but I believe they are looking for a different way to exercise.

I have come to meet great people in my sessions. Some have become friends. Whether you are an instructor, a host or a member, we are happy to see each other. We are happy to enjoy the challenge of sports together. There is mutual stimulation and inspiration. The word is spreading and more come to join the tribe. Slowly, the sense of community has been building up.

It is a privilege to be part of this team. It is a renewed pleasure to spend time together doing what we like (sports, what else?). Finally, there is no better satisfaction for a sports instructor to see how much people enjoy the ride, enjoy each other’s company, motivate each other to get it done and bring more into the adventure.

So, why don’t you give it a try? The only risk is that you are going to love it and become addicted …
Join the tribe and let us rock it TOGETHER!”

Now that you’ve heard his thoughts, let’s take a moment to better know our beloved instructor. Antonio is from Belgium and he joined our organisation over 2 years ago as a volunteer to share his passion for running. He was immediately attracted to Friskis by the energy that is shared between the instructor and the participants (he compares it to a symbiotic relationship) and the friendships that have been formed. He believes that life is to be lived to the fullest and that it is too short to produce negative energy.

During our Free Summer sessions there will be Friskis Start to Run sessions on Mondays and Running Quality sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays, all at 19:30 at Parc Cinquantenaire (meeting point under the arch). Please check the schedule to know when you can join a session by Antonio.

Previous editions: 

Friskis Value 1: Exercise should be fun

Friskis Value 2: Exercise must be free from demands on performance

Friskis Value 3: Independence is invaluable

Friskis Value 4: Exercise should allow the whole person to develop

Friskis Value 5: Exercise is unremarkable

Value 6: limits should be stretched


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