Growing up I never felt I was a part of an exercising or sporty community. I wasn’t involved in basketball, or in cross country or track. I did enjoy volleyball during my 8th grade PE class but when I tried out for a team I wasn’t selected. And similarly as an adult I’ve never felt like I was a part of an active exercising group or community (not counting my immediate family). There was a time when I joined coworkers for 2 months and went to Spinning classes 4-5 times a week but even then I felt out of place among the clientele of that particular gym.
I guess having a membership to a national chain gym technically puts me into the certain community but I never felt like I belonged…or that I was even welcomed. During a personal trainer trial period session the trainer wasn’t even paying attention to me and at that time in my life I seriously considered paying for the service.
Only through my new relationship with Bikram Yoga I’ve felt welcomed, encouraged and appreciated that my presence was important and valued not only for my own well-being but also for others in class. There are specific individuals who have been especially motivating and are people I look forward to seeing when I go to class. I appreciate my conversations with these people because they are inspiring and motivating to me (probably unbeknownst to them). I just hope I’m impacting their practice in a positive way as well. Additionally the instructors really seem to LOVE their job of guiding the class through the poses. I also see them taking the classes themselves which is great to see that even as an instructor they also are still growing.
I personally feel that having found a connection with this community and this studio has helped in some way to strengthen my desire to continue to attend classes on a regular basis. I don’t feel judged; I feel accepted. I feel encouraged to always try my hardest, even if that means for that day simply getting to class and standing there. I often hear “You’ve already done the hardest thing in this workout, which is getting to class…it is all downhill from here” and it’s TRUE!
Having a community, or group you can feel connected to, in my experience, can make or break a commitment and for me this meant finding a group that supported me. Sounds kind of selfish…but doing it on my own was/is tough for me. If you’re a person who can do it on your own, I applaud you and your efforts! I’m just thankful I’ve found something that works for me. =)
I’m curious to hear how other people feel about their particular workout community. How long have you been in it? How do you feel about the connections you’ve made to instructors and other classmates? What about your community keeps you coming back?