July was awesome – it was filled with events and experiences that reminded me about the importance of community. One of them (image above) was a charity event put on by the Crossfit Gym I work out at. The event a by-donation workout where people came together for a 16-year old girl in the community who has just developed cancer. Another important reminder for me was why I do what I do. It isn’t for me only (although I do love it!). I do what I do because it involves bringing people together to motivate one another to live healthier, happier lives. In my mind, the healthier you are, the more you can give of yourself to the world, which will ultimately make you happier.
Without community, I would not be where I am today
I know many people talk about community and how it is important, but why, and what does it really mean? The dictionary defines community as “a group of any size that shares common values”. That’s exactly why community is important – you need to surround yourself with supportive people who are not all about themselves – especially when you want to improve your health.
Being among other people that share the same values for health and fitness is integral for your continued success in being healthy inside and out. One of the biggest challenges that my clients face is that they are fighting a battle alone. They are fighting to make changes by exercising, incorporating more nutritious foods into their diets, resting more, etc, but their families and friends are not doing the same things. Oftentimes they are not surrounded by people making those same choices and working for the same values – which makes the struggle lonesome and seem futile – we only have so much will power to go against the grain. Sometimes those around you will unknowingly sabotage you (not maliciously of course), for many reasons. You’ll hear all sorts of excuses that they make for you, like: “You’ve been so good with your diet now, you have give yourself a treat” (or any other treats…), “You exercise all the time, so what are you worried about?”, “You look so good now that you’ve lost X pounds, so why are you still trying to diet?”…blah blah blah. Working out alone, and eating healthy aren’t exactly “fun”. Sure they make you feel great, but it’s tough, and who likes to tough it out alone when everyone else is telling you to stop?!
Ask for the things you need, and you will be surprised at what people will do to help you succeed
If you want to make true, LASTING changes to your health, you need to do 2 things:
1. Enroll the people in your life into your journey. Meaning, get them on board with supporting you. This means asking them NOT to being home junk food all the time or ask you out for drinks every night. Especially if you find it hard to stay away from temptations. It means having a conversation with them that your health is important to you, and that in order for YOU to succeed, you need THEM to be supportive and not sabotaging. Ask for the things you need, and you will be surprised at what people will do to help you succeed.
2. Surround yourself with a community of like-minded people. Join a club or group that will motivate you to continue being healthy. For example, Lululemon puts on complimentary Yoga and Run Clubs in most cities, and those a great places to meet other people that are striving to be healthier and more fit, and will support you in your endeavour. Many small boutique gyms are similar – they foster fitness communities that come together and support each other at any level that you are at.
Without community I would not be where I am today. I could and never would have done it on my own – I always had a friend or group of friends – we held each other accountable, we shared our goals, and even worked together on similar goals. Now my fitness community is a group of friends I have who are all active, it is my Crossfit Gym (filled with people of all ages and fitness levels working to be better), and it is the my clients and bootcampers who come back every week because it means they don’t have to sweat alone.
So find yourself a fitness community, get them on board with your success, and give back to them by supporting them where they are at!