Rabbits and Community

The Community word is thrown around a lot at gyms. It used to be a marketing tool. “Come check out our gym, the community is great!” No one ever came to our gym because of the community. It is hard to believe, but people don’t care about the community when they are looking for a gym. We know the value of community. The owners, the staff, the longtime members. We know why it is important, and that it truly does help with your health and fitness.

Science knows too. All kinds of research show that who you hang out with determines many aspects of your life. What you do, what you eat, who you date, how long you live. Entire books have been written just on this concept. Most of us know it to be true as well. Hang out with the wrong people and you get into trouble. Hang out with better people and you move mountains. The same is true for work. Great teams that work together get amazing things done. Teams that don’t work together fail.

I went to REV class yesterday. First REV class in a long time. Coaching was great, work out was great, but I got a great work out because I found a rabbit. A 30-minute work out is a perfect time domain for me as an older person. 5-10 mins to get going, get the body really warmed up, and then 20 minutes to push a bit to get the desired burn. I noticed early that one guy was just ahead of me, so I set my pace and speed of movements to try and stick with him. I did this for the entire work out. He finished just ahead of me. I kept up.

There are many aspects of community and this is one of them. Say this guy would have decided to just relax and not hold his pace about 20 mins in. I would have passed him and then knowing myself I would have also slowed down. Thereby not getting as good of a workout.

The other side. Did he know I was right behind him the whole time? Is this why he kept his pace and did not slow down? What if I would have relaxed and not kept up. He very well of might have slowed down as well. And in doing so, not get as good of a workout.

I think this part of the community is often missed. At it’s highest level we know that great athletes need to be tested by other great athletes to get better. The same is true for all of us. This is not just in the gym. In order to progress through life, we need to be challenged and we need to do the things that are hard. This is so much easier when we surround ourselves with not only great friends but with people who are willing to work hard.

Rabbits are people in the gym you look up to, and you chase. Finding a rabbit is usually pretty easy. It is best if they work out in the same class every day. It is not necessary, however. One of the reasons we write scores on the board is to facilitate rabbit hunting. Personally, I have been very fortunate. I have had the same rabbit at progression for 8 years. We rarely attend the same class, but every class I attend I look for his score and try to match it. I rarely do… But I try. I also try to find a rabbit in every class I am in. So many days I am hunting two rabbits.

Community means many things. It is very important to your health, fitness and your life. No one thinks when they join a gym that the community is going to help them get fit. And maybe a lot of you still don’t realize what it means and how it works. I do know however that a lot of members who move away or move on, miss it. They miss it a lot. “It is just not the same”, “We work out and go home”, “I don’t know anyone in class because there is no time or nowhere to talk after class”. All things I have heard from former members recently.

Do your part! Your job is to do your best every class. Whether that means catching that rabbit ahead of you or keeping from being caught. We all get better when we all get better. Lead by example you never know who is watching.

–JG