Defining ‘Community’

Community. I love to define things here on my blog. Not that putting a definition on something really creates it for you, but sometimes it helps convey some sort of message by means of words that I didn’t write—the real meaning of the world, and then I’ll throw a curve ball with my own twist on the it.

 

Community:

noun, often attributive

: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)

: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

: a group of nations

 

I like the middle definition the best. I mean, a community of people have the same interest generally flock together in the same area to form a community, right? WRONG. Not in this day and age with the internet, blog-o-sphere, skype, email, facebook, texting, facetime…what other techy communication words can I throw around? Twitter, life 360, uhmmmm… I’m running out, MySpace? Is that still a thing? I probably still have one floating around somewhere online.

 

Anyway.

 

Community. I’ve always ended up finding myself in the physical fitness community. Both literally and interwebbidly (that is a word now.) I’ve tweeted about my training, I blogged about my races, my classes, my goals, etc… facebook has been a huge motivator and encourager and keeper of commitmenter. (Feel free to start using my new vocabulary any day now.) It’s all helping to morph into another form of community. One on one interaction of awesome people helping awesome people via…you guessed it…the internet.

            My amazing friend, Ashley, is a kick ass trainer over at Comfy Fitness in Chicago. She and I skype and text most days about workouts, she’s setting me up and kicking my ass virtually three times a week. I still need to have the motivation to get my ass to the gym and do the routine, but she supports me and encourages me even when I’m super sore and tired. I love having this support.

            My friend who lives in Miami is training for her first 5k (!!!!!) I love getting facebook messages from her telling me that she completed her first ever 2.5 mile run, she asks me questions, she tells me that my voice was in her head when she wanted to stop but I wouldn’t let her. My friend in Michigan is also beginning his running venture—totally new for him and he’s having triumph after triumph and tells me about it. I love hearing from and supporting these friends! Then I tell him my struggles with yoga and meditation and he reels me back into reality with wise advice, amazing quotes and things to read.

            The yoga community at Power Yoga Morgantown is amazing. This studio has had me commit to 30 days of yoga, I’m on day 16 and cannot wait to get to class tonight! I truly feel myself growing daily with my practice. #yogachallange (check it out on instagram, every time I get a ❤ from one of these amazing yogis it makes my day). I’ve also started building a yoga community at work. Getting people involved, girls who have never done it before trying it! Opening peoples eyes up to the power of yoga, exercise, stretching, bending and pushing themselves is amazing. Having the support while I push myself into uncomfortable places is amazing.

 

I guess my point of this blog post is to say that community, whether you’re involved via the internet or real live life—both are a wonderful thing to have. Cherish them, help them grow, let them flourish and bloom. You never know who you’ll meet and what connections you’ll make.

A Gentle Guide

This blog has morphed. I started writing for The Sole Search in the winter of 2011 with the intent to discover new cities, towns and countryside via running. I was going to run and discover cute coffee shops and book stores and then visit them after a shower and tell you all about them. The original plan was to propose a TV show idea to the Travel Channel. Obviously, that idea only lasted for a short time.

            But I continued to run, and write and write about running and my triumphs and struggles not only with running, but with it’s community, and other sports too. As I discovered my love for trails, my passion for finding myself out there, doors opened and ideas flowed. She’s there somewhere, I’m just on the hunt for who she is…who she’s turning into. Because, let’s be honest, the only constant is change so we may as well embrace it.

 

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it” –Andre Gide

 

The tag line for The Sole Search has turned into my life’s desire. Searching for my soul via my soles. I’m always looking. Whether or not it’s while I run, (which I honestly haven’t done in a long time, and I am finding peace with that) riding my bike, working at a bar, pumping away at the elliptical, sitting on my deck with a book and a glass of wine or swimming endless laps in a pool as I prepare to do 1/3 of a triathlon this fall—I’m searching, I think we all are.

 

People who love me have accepted my flighty lifestyle. They know that I [runaway] move around a lot. They embrace it and know that I’ll come back around to where they are eventually. They remind me that I have friends all over the world. I’m the one that has not accepted this. I’m working at allowing myself to be okay with this. It’s hard. I have a hard time staying put, relaxing and being somewhere. It’s not that I don’t want to but that I think when I know where/with whom I want that with I’ll know. Or maybe I won’t—

Convo with my Mother

Convo with my Mother

 

So for now I search. For now I travel seeking, learning and embracing life as it comes at me. On this path I’m reading and learning and discovering all the people I can learn from along the way. Instead of discovering a coffee shop while on a run, I will sit in that coffee shop and write and read and ponder.

 

My newest venture to the Yoga Ashram is one way that I am being proactive in finding comfort somewhere. Life is going to happen no matter what. We can sit back and assume it’s going to be awesome, or we can take it by the reins, grip tightly and gently direct it toward something awesome.

 

That’s my plan.

 

Join me if you will, I’d love to have you along for the ride.

Fit Enough

            I remember before Granite-Man this year a girl my age was doubting herself. She was nervous, asked if she could just do the swim and skip the bike and run. I somehow convinced her that she was strong enough to finish the whole thing, I pumped her up and got her excited for starting and finishing the race—and she did. She thanked me at the finish and was stoked she had done it! I was stoked she had finished it! Seeing other people succeed, helping them realize this is incredible and powerful.

            The power of other people lifting each other up is well, powerful. I competed in my first off-road triathlon on Sunday in Yellow Creek State Park near Indiana, PA. I was really excited to swim and run—not so excited for the 14-miles of terrifying mountain biking I that hadn’t trained for. I did the course Saturday afternoon and pretty much, after my third fall, I convinced myself I wasn’t fit to do it. I was afraid of hurting myself, ruining other peoples races and was just scared in general. My amazing community, over pre-race beers and burgers, convinced me I was fit enough. That I could take it at my own pace, that I was racing my own race and that I could do it. I could do it.

 

I did it.

 

It hurt. I was sore, and tired, and not smiling the whole time. But laughing before and after made up for the pain and nervousness. My tired body this week is testament to what my body can do for me. Resting is like a big thank you to my tired muscles. This post is a giant hug for all those who supported me.

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