Exploring the different types of love to live a healthier, more fulfilling life
By Bekki Jo Pritchard
Photos provided by Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center
February is known as the “month of love,” so I thought it would be fun to identify the different types of love and examine how love contributes to leading a healthy lifestyle. Love has many meanings to different people and there are many different types of love that can help create meaningful connections in relationships.
According to Psychology Today, there are seven types of love:
Eros: Sexual, passionate or romantic love.
Philia: Friendship or shared goodwill, companionship, dependability and trust.
Storge: Familial love, parents and children; based on familiarity and dependency and is less contingent on personal qualities.
Agape: Universal love, such as for strangers, nature, fitness or a higher power. Having an unselfish concern for others.
Ludas: Playful or uncommitted love. Casual, undemanding and uncomplicated.
Pragma: Founded on reason or duty. Having longer-term interests at the forefront.
Philautia: Self-love, healthy and unhealthy versions. Unhealthy self-love is kindred to hubris, putting the self above the gods.
At Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center, love is in the air. Heather Albro, a Personal Trainer at Milestone, her husband Chris and daughter Lily train and compete in Olympic Lifting as a family. Heather and Chris have always exercised regularly, but not always together. They started doing CrossFit about seven years ago when Milestone introduced it. It made them realize that they not only enjoyed the workout but also working out together. Heather and Chris’s three children have also joined in workouts as well.
A few years ago, Heather switched from CrossFit to Olympic Lifting. She loved the technique, focus and challenge it brought her. Soon after, Chris switched to Olympic Lifting as well and yet another love affair was created. The two began lifting and competing together.
About a year ago, Heather convinced her now 11-year-old daughter Lily to start lifting during the off-season for cross country hoping it would bring strength and confidence to Lily’s running. After her first competition, Lily decided lifting was her sport.
With love being the focus of February, I asked Heather how working out together has made her family’s love for one another grow. Heather responded, “We don’t always get to workout at the same time, but we enjoy discussing our workouts in the evening. It has really been a bonding experience for us. We were both out of work for a short period this year due to COVID-19 and having a home gym was quite the stress reliever for us! During this season of life, my daughter and I usually work out together while my husband and middle son do their workout together. It gives the whole family some fun and interesting conversations most evenings.”
Based on Heather’s responses and the connection with her family and fitness, at least six of the seven different types of love are connected to the various relationships. Ludas is the only type of love missing in the Albros’ family dynamic.
Just as love is in the air for the Albro’s, I also spoke to Milestone members and besties Cathy Hill and Lesa Rice who not only love working out but also love each other. Best friends for over 20 years, Cathy and Lesa met at the dental office where Cathy worked and were pleased to discover that they attended the same church. After joining a Bible study together, their friendship deepened and flourished into a bond that has stood the test of time.
Milestone’s HMR Program is what ultimately brought the two friends to Milestone. Cathy was inspired by a friend who lost 75 pounds through HMR so she took the leap and made a commitment to join and lost 50 pounds! Soon after, she also fell in love with my Barre classes and I was so honored! She told Lesa about how much she loved the classes and Lesa decided to join too. Lesa feels that working out together has strengthened their friendship and is a key component to feeling younger and living a healthier life.
Cathy says that Lesa is great about getting her to sign up for fitness challenges. Cathy has a competitive edge and loves a good challenge and Lesa is always there to motivate her. Cathy has no interest in going back to the sedentary, overweight person she was just two years earlier. She says having a workout partner who happens to be your best friend makes it easier to stay on course.
As Cathy and Lesa’s Barre instructor and Personal Trainer at Milestone, it is wonderful to see two besties who truly love each other, love their lives and take a vested interest in those around them. They are positive, attentive and motivating to one another and the other people who attend Barre class. I could not help but feel humbled, honored and love for these two ladies when they shared the following with me. “Bekki Jo, you are our inspiration because of the way you live your life and talk the talk. You keep us coming back and looking forward to each class! You encourage and strengthen us, mind and body! Your class is never boring. We are always laughing and talking about funny things and we love it!” With a huge serving of phila love, a dash of agape love and a healthy splash of philautia love, Cathy, Lesa and I all get to spread the love around Milestone.
Another pair who bring their love for each other to the fitness floor of Milestone is the mother and daughter duo, Kristen and Maggie Riddick. Being a mother and daughter workout team allows them to strengthen their bond, spend more time together and grow their adult relationship. Both Maggie and Kristen admit to being clumsy, which brings humor and laughter to their workouts.
Kristen and Maggie were encouraged to check out Milestone several times. Knowing that neither was looking for a “meat market” gym, Milestone was worth a try. Both feel that Milestone offers the benefit of a wonderful facility while also giving them a level of comfort through the availability of professional assistance. Kristen and Maggie take full advantage of the club and are often seen relaxing at our on-site Oasis Spa, or eating a meal together in the Café. They both also expressed their love for their Personal Trainer, Alison Cardoza by saying, “Alison is upbeat, knowledgeable, patient, genuinely concerned about us as individuals, loves to laugh with us and always make us feel good about ourselves.”
Alison says she absolutely loves Kristen and Maggie’s energy. Together as a mother and daughter, they hold each other accountable not only in physical fitness but in life as well. There is no question that they are best friends. “They make it easy for me to be their trainer. Their laughter is contagious, which gives my abs a great workout! Their motivation to be the best version of themselves shines through their effort and makes me love my job.” The Riddick’s bring storge, philia, agape and philautia love with great humor, laughter and an unbreakable bond to Milestone.
As you begin to approach the month of love, I hope you will identify all the different types of love in your life. Do not allow your desire to seek one specific type of love to blind you from the beautiful possibilities in all your love relationships. In spending most of our time seeking romantic love, we often disregard other types of love that are consistent, unconditional and can prove to be more healing, loving and fulfilling. In 2021, open your mind, heart and soul to the love that surrounds you!
Bekki Jo Pritchard, BA and MLS, is a Certified Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Barre Instructor and RYT 200 Yoga Instructor. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Sociology, College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, NV and Adjunct Professor of Sociology, Craftonhills College, Yucaipa, CA.