Community: (re)defined

The concept of community has been all around me the last couple of days in particular, but really — community has been on my mind for weeks now. I started to think about how I defined community the last time I wrote about it here:

So now when I think about “community” — my definition is quite different.  It’s about finding common ground. Above all else. Kind of like this amazing fitness and healthy living community that I am damn proud to be a part of. A beautiful phenomenon…another community where I’ve made friendships that I cherish, with awesome women (and even a few guys!) who I’d never ever have met if not for this blogging thang.

As I read and re-read my words from that post, it dawned on me: I was writing about it from a very different perspective — the perspective of the student surrounded by a loving, warm and supportive set of mini communities. But today, I sit here thinking about community from the perspective of instructor or teacher.And while I still define community in a similar way to how I wrote about it over a year ago, I’m coming at the concept of community from a (re)defined perspective today.

…as a barre n9ne instructor.
…as a forever student of this fit lifestyle I’ve grown to love.
…and as a quasi-‘teacher’ of what fit can mean if you apply it to all areas of your life.

Community means…support without strings attached, just lifting up your fellow friends, clients, family, etc., because you want to. Period.

Community means...learning from eachother. Whether it be at the studio and figuring out how to connect with your core better, or through fit friends who show you how to run with heart and soul (yep, that’s you Meaghan).

Community means…putting yourself out there and knowing that those in your personal community will be there to catch you if needed. This happens all the time with fit besties Steph and my sis Jo. Anytime I’m having a moment of personal struggle, no matter how big or small it is, they are there to remind me to think bigger, to pull back and look at the situation with a new perspective, and usually it’s a fit perspective at that.

Community means…leading by example as an instructor, in the hopes that at least one client will be inspired to reach for a higher goal, push a little harder in class, or simply smile at themselves in the mirror when I tell them to focus on the work they’re putting into that plie or bicep curl.

Community means…beautiful friendships, connections and memories built on that common ground, and with a foundation of trust and support above all else.

Community is beautiful.

And, as we near the end of 2012, I am damn thankful for the various communities that make up such a big part of my life today.

Source: toms.com via Jess on Pinterest

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20 thoughts on “Community: (re)defined

  1. LOVE this post, sis. Community is defined in such a different way when looking at it from where our roles are now, isn’t it? Yet, still blurs the line with what community means, generally, support, dedication, devotion. A lifelong dedication too, not just short term. (hope my words make sense, a little swimmy head going on up in here!)

  2. You’re SO right (as usual!)… community is “family” and goes in so many directions–and it’s so important to making life meaningful. Sometimes I wonder what I did before there was such a thing as an online community–it feels as important as the “real life” stuff!

    • Ha, I like when I’m right (doesn’t happen nearly as much IRL as it does on here though, hehe).

      I love the idea of equating community with family — right on. You treat those in your inner circle of mini-communities as one of your own and that feeling is shared right back, in a pay-it-forward sort of way, which I LOVE. This online community is a huge part of my life today, even if I spend less time ‘here’ than before, I still cherish it so very much. Friendships like yours are just awesome.

  3. The first thing I thought about when I ready “Community” was the running community. Sure there are going to be the odd ones out, but by and large, it is such an open-armed community. It is welcoming and helpful. I’m so proud to be a part of that community!

    • The running community is AWESOME isn’t it?? Lots of support, encouragement and learnings to be shared around — I love that I can basically ask anything in a running community and chances are, someone will have an answer or a word of advice for me. The best!

  4. I have always been a big proponent of creating community, and supporting people in my communities. It is so much easier to be positive and supportive than competitive and negative (kind of like it takes more muscles to frown?), and you get SO MUCH MORE from banding together!

    I love this post :)

    • I can’t agree more — being supportive and uplifting is so much easier and a much happier feeling than being competitive, catty and nasty within that same community. Life is too short to deal with the bs, it’s time we all took the higher ground and did a little bit more lifting up and a lot less tearing down. Banding together is the best. :)

  5. I adore this post! If I could use a “highlighter” I’d highlight the entire thing!

    Over the past couple of days I have been thinking about what makes me feel part of a community and what doesn’t, and thinking about what I want do about it. Lots of thoughts and ideas brewing on this but you’ve beautifully captured a lot of my feelings on this topic!

    • HA! I love the idea of you highlighting my blog post, hehe. ;-)

      SO glad this post resonated with you!! I would LOVE to hear more about your thoughts and ideas brewing on community (and whatever else is going on in your head!) when you have a chance to collect them into one place. :) Happy New Year friend!

  6. This post is beautiful and a lovely way to end 2012. Community can mean so may things and I think what I loved about this year is that all my friends and family are in good health and I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with them on my days off from work. I’d like to challenge myself to do more volunteer work in the community in 2013.

    • I’m so happy that you’ve found that sense of community within your own relationships my dear — I hope you have a fabulous time ringing in the new year and that 2013 is a beautiful one for you! xo!

    • Exactly my friend — it’s about knowing that the second you put yourself out there, someone will be there to catch you, to lift you up and to give you new perspective. I LOVE that most of all about community. LOVE YOU!

  7. Love this and yes, you are most definitely coming at it from a different perspective now. The first one definitely resonates most with me right now – supporting people because you want to. That’s a huge difference but what I think really makes a community tick. I’m grateful to be part of your community and to have connected over the past year. Happy New Year my friend. You’ve had an amazing 2012. Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. xox

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