When I opened my 2nd personal training studio in 2012, I wanted to build something larger than just a gym. I really wanted to establish a place of community. I wanted to be an informational resource for our town, to provide a space for people with common goals to come together and support each other, and I wanted to create a learning environment for the other trainers in the studio. 5 years later, there is definitely a strong community at Koa Fit AND it is something that I try to foster, care for, and grow every week I am in business.
Community = COMMON Purpose + Values + Experiences
Being part of a community, whether you seek it out or it finds you, is one of the most important pieces to living a strong and balanced life. There are the communities we attach ourselves to because we have a common interest or purpose (think sports teams, weight loss groups, networking, etc) and then there are those we are part of because we share common values (non-profits, religion, political groups, etc.). And then there are the communities we may just find ourselves in due to our life experiences (support groups, travel, neighborhoods, etc.). You have probably found yourself in at least one or all 3 of these communities at one point or another in your life. Being part of a community allows us to have a sense of belonging, provide mutual support, and have greater influence in our society. It is important for us to not only be part of a community, but to be ACTIVE and INVOLVED in that community on a daily basis.
One of the biggest benefits of being active in a community is the support that you get and give. Working together, supporting each other through life’s challenges not only helps you bare the burden, but also fulfills the want to be needed as you help others. As you give assistance to someone, you expand your capacity to be compassionate, patient, and generous. You will also experience more in your life as you look at situations from someone elses shoes or help them get through a particularly trying time. Your reality and view of the world can be expanded when you support those around you.
As you engage and support people as a community, you will also better understand others. You will understand where they came from, what they value, why they made certain decisions, and what they want to do in their life. These insights into people’s lives create an atmosphere of understanding, so that even if we disagree, we can UNDERSTAND the other person’s viewpoint. Understanding leads to patience which leads to compassion which then leads to trust.
This understanding also expands our own knowledge and gives us the opportunity to teach others. This give and take is a much more valuable life education than anything we can pick up in a book or a classroom.
Connection and Trust
The biggest reason people join a community is to make connections. It could be as simple as you all enjoy reading books or riding bikes, or it could be more complicated, like trying to conquer an addiction. Whatever the reason, connection is something every human requires. Connection leads to friendship and intimacy, and gives us the sense that we are on a team and that people have our backs.
These connections that we make in our communities also lead us to trusting one another. It helps create a camaraderie in our society that allows us to walk down the street feeling safe and secure. The more people you can connect with, build a relationship, and ultimately trust in your community, the more peace we can have in this world.
Move the World
Communities can create movements. Obviously, as a group you have much greater influence than you do alone. But bigger than that, the power a community can cultivate is exponential. The motivation and inspiration that feeds the community is only doubled and tripled as the group expands. This is literally the “power” of a community. Giving your attention to something larger than yourself can help move attitudes, beliefs, and policy.