THE POWER OF COMMUNITY
Some of the greatest moments in history are remembered when humans have overcome an obstacle as a collective.
Let’s take a flashback to the infamous Boston Marathon bombings a few years back. Catastrophe struck on April 23, 2013 when two homemade bombs detonated near the finish line, killing three people and injuring hundreds of others. There were also 16 people who became instant amputees.
Boston did not break at this event. The city instead unified, creating an unbreakable bond and power among the people. There are even a few of those amputees coming back to rerun the Boston Marathon. Why I’ll never understand why the bombers thought it would be a good idea to plan the attack on a group of marathoners, I know it was an error in judgement. Marathoner runners are some of the most resilient people you’ll ever come across.
While this was an extreme case, it’s also an obvious one to show that we’re hardwired to protect ourselves and to survive fear.
Our brains have not changed that much since our early ancestral days. When you were ostracised from the tribe thousands of years ago, you were thrown out into the open, scared for your life by the threat of wild animals ready to eat you. That feeling may even be familiar, when you’ve been betrayed by a friend or family member or alienated from your social circles for whatever reason. It’s an identical feeling to the tribe kicking you out—we still feel as if that danger is there.
Communities are founded everywhere. Churches, sports, and Freemasons are community groups. Small businesses meet up every week. And when a town can come together for a local event, it brings in people from all walks of life. In essence, a community is a family-orientated group of people who practise the same values.
Even if you’re part of your local church or attend weekly meetings with business owners, I highly recommend joining a fitness community. It’s scientifically proven that implementing an active lifestyle into your regimen will increase your happiness a hundredfold.
“WHAT ACTIVE COMMUNITIES CAN BENEFIT ME?”
Active communities that tie in with your physicality are, to my mind, the most beneficial. I recommend taking up a sport or a type of fitness routine because you’re integrating both health and wellbeing at once. Consider these communities:
Running communities: road/trail/ultra
Obstacle course racing: Spartan/Tough Mudder/Ninja Warrior
Strength training: Cross-fit/gym/boot camps
Water sports: surfing/stand-up paddle boarding/kayaking
Ball sports: rugby/tennis/soccer/football/volleyball
Multidisciplinary sports: triathlon/adventure racing
Walking: neighbourhood/parks/hiking trails
If it wasn’t for the running and endurance community, I wouldn’t have had near as close to the amount of opportunity I’ve had today. It starts with an initial meeting at an event or training group then it leads into the next adventure. Just being around this group of people is a strong reason I love getting up early to meet up. Then there are all the late night adventures summiting a random mountain with people who are always looking for new experiences and memories.
Regardless of what community you’re a part of, they consist of the people it is beneficial surround yourself with. Ever noticed how the most successful people have a strong tribe and inner circle? Subsequently, the right people around you will enhance your mindset to always be thriving. It’s as if they lift you up via osmosis and get you thinking about how you want to live your life.
Now, this isn’t entirely about the health side of things. A community is imperative in your professional career too.
It’s proven humans are neurobiologically wired for connection, and that feeling of surrounding yourself with like-minded people helps you become part of your community. You will not only establish new friendships, but it’s a priceless feeling being part of a team with members on the same journey. Becoming part of a community benefits everyone.
HAVING TROUBLE OVERCOMING FEAR? LET ME HELP YOU.
Did you know there are ways to simulate adversity? So, when you come across fear, you're trusting the situation. That is because, in a tough decision, it's fear vs trust. Usually fear is some sort of uncertainty that we're super worried about. And, we don't end up taking the risk resulting in fear of failure. Which leads to regret and becomes this vicious cycle that bites you in the ass. By simulating adversity, you learn to hardwire your thought pattern and become more accustomed to fear.
I found out the hard way that i can push past the "OH SHIT" moments in life. Not only that, completing endurance feats like 12hr swims. many 24hr runs, and even an ultramarathon on Mt Everest.
So, I've been asked for the last couple months, "Tofe, can you help me overcome my fears?"
I'd love to chat with you if this is something you are struggling with. Lock me in for a free 15-min consultation here - calendly.com/tofe