a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.“Rhode Island’s Japanese community”
a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. “the sense of community that organized religion can provide”
It’s the second definition that I’m writing about today. About two years ago I started to feel like I was losing my “community.” Friends that you’ve had forever get married at different times, have kids at different times, get different jobs, move away, and really, just develop different priorities and values over time. They’re always going to be your friends (or most of them, anyway), but the sense of community changes. Maybe you bond with someone in your pre-natal or fitness classes, or you form a social group with the parents you meet dropping your kids at school. Maybe you’ve formed a social group among your co-workers.
For whatever reason – new job, busy schedule, challenges with kids – I started to feel like my community was shrinking. Not everyone understood my passion for fitness, or my desire to add coaching to an already full-time life. I struggled with it for some time, got sad, got mad, got sad again. But then I realized it’s okay. Our communities change, grow, shrink and evolve constantly. And that’s a good thing. The friends that are meant to stick around will stick around. The ones that you instantly connect with again even it’s been months since you last spoke or got together. They’re the precious gems to be guarded closely and taken care of.
One of the things I love most about coaching is the community of fellow coaches that comes with it. And 95% of the friends I have made through coaching are people I have yet to meet in person, but that doesn’t matter. We share common goals, common values, common passions, and we continually lift each other up to succeed and be better. I can’t WAIT til I get to meet a lot of these wonderful people in person this year at various events, because we are already connected. It will be like meeting an old friend.
I have my community of treasured friends that I will never let go (you know who you are), and I have this new community of amazing people that share my excitement for helping people get healthy. And I have the community of people that I get to help, which is incredible. A sense of community and belonging is a powerful thing. I no longer feel like my community is shrinking, it is growing exponentially and I am filled to the brim with love, hope, excitement…a vision of Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch just popped into my head so I will stop there, but suffice to say, I feel amazing.
Have a great day!