Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Community

Have you ever seen a group of lions stalk and take down a water buffalo? It is gruesome. Have you ever seen a group of water buffalos ban together and take out the lions? It is awe inspiring. Here is your analogy: the lions are life, you can stick together with the other water buffalos and draw support and encouragement to overcome life's obstacles. Or, you can be a lone water buffalo and take your chances on getting taken down by the hungry lions.

The point is that life was not meant to be trekked alone. Think about it: if you were meant to be a lone wolf, a lone water buffalo, or a solitary soldier, you wouldn't have any need for vocal cords. By design, you were made for communication. Therefore, you were meant to be in community, around people. 

Last night I watched a group of women support each other and encourage each other. These women got together because they have one goal in common: they want to lose weight. The room was filled with love for one-another. It was amazing. They celebrated each others' victories, and encouraged those that were having more challenges than successes. These women are going to succeed at their goal. They are all rooting for each other and counting on each other. That is powerful. That is community. 

Having a core group of people in your life that you trust, respect, and value is invaluable. They can lend an ear when you need to vent, confess, or celebrate. They can lend a hand when you need guidance, wisdom, and experience. And, they can lend a shoulder when you just feel like you need to hang your head and cry. There is nothing like a good group of friends, or brothers, or sisters, whom you can really rely on. 

Having a group of people in your life who love you and support you is like having an overflowing bank account. You are never broke, or broken, when you are surrounded by love and the support of those around you. Friends who share your life add joy to your life. And, they can make training for a health goal more enjoyable too. Especially if they are actually training with you. As a trainer, I have seen more people laugh and smile when they are training with a friend than I have when they are training alone. I know my jokes are funny, but I cannot create the same experience and "fun" as training with a friend can.

Do you have a community, a group of friends? When it comes to your health, your goals, your life - do you have a group of people who encourage you and root for you? If you don't, you need one. No matter who you are, or how independent you think you are, you need a group. Having friends who travel with you on your journey is a wonderful thing, especially if you have a challenging journey ahead. 

You have vocal cords, right? You might as well use them. Don't get taken out by the lions. 




2 comments:

Mary said...

Importance of community is a good topic. As an overweight individual living far away from family this is a challenge. My weight is not acceptable as seen from the eyes of most strangers I encounter day-to-day. This will eventually force me to withdraw further or give me the incentive to lose this obstacle. I hope I start using my voice and find a community of support to support my weight loss challenges (as your article mentions). Happy Thanksgiving! Mary

Tim Anderson said...

Mary,

Keep your eyes on your goal. You can do this. And like your mom used to tell you, don't talk to strangers. Don't listen to them either.

And yes, use your voice. There is a community of friends for you. Maybe it is here?

Happy Thanksgiving.