I’ve recently discovered, due to current lack of it, that I thrive in team environments. I used to think of myself as a very independent person, not hesitant to do things on my own, and at times, not really willing to be a team player. When I was in school, I used to have an internal panic attack when profs or teachers would utter the words “Group Work”. And in those groups, I was often the person who would volunteer to do a majority of the work, just for the sake of getting it done and not having to worry about the juggle of collaboration.
How weird is that?
Now, though, I find myself searching for groups everywhere. I’ve learned, not only the importance, but the need for community. We are not meant to do life solitarily. If we were, there would literally be one person on the planet. One. Only. The people around us are not there for decoration. If you think about your circles and horseshoes of friends, family, colleagues, networks, everyone you know, it’s quite a large number of people. BUT, when you think of that number in terms of the 7+ BILLION people in the world, does it not spark a sort of curiousity in you to find out what these other 6,999,999,502 people are about? What you can share? What can you learn from these people? What can you teach these people? I can write a zillion questions about what goes through my head at this whole idea.
So, when I was in my very early stages of contemplating this journey, helping people and being part of a larger group being helped, I was flip flopping. In the past, I had done a few of the programs on my own, so maybe I didn’t need to go into this. But, did I do well? Did I stick with it? How was I with my excuses? Answers: Meh. Kinda? PLENTIFUL.
Then I thought about how I was doing at the time. I was probably in some of the worst shape of my life…but I had good intentions. Really. I knew I wanted to get back into shape. I knew I wanted people to stop looking at my belly, looking at me, looking at my belly, and pausing to think “Is she pregnant again? Should I ask?” (Yes, I know you were curious…and for those of you who did ask, you are BOLD! LOL!). I knew I felt horrible, exhausted, and that my mental state was suffering from losing that active part of my life. I wanted to stop looking at pictures of myself and thinking “hmph…I didn’t think it was showing on the outside.”
I’m not a gym person. I’m a runner. I like to be outside, breathing in fresh air, admiring nature, people watching…but with my busy schedule, working, momming, baking, I was often left with the dark hours of the day to run, and that was feeding into my excuses. It’s too dark outside. I can’t go for a run. So I did nothing. Complacency is a bad friend, guys. I needed something I could do on my own time, when I was available, and if it wasn’t outside, that was fine. I just needed to feel better and be more active. And I needed my kids to see me doing what I’m always telling them to do. Go play! Be active!
So I did it.
And OH MY GOODNESS.
COMMUNITY. I didn’t know there was a whole world out there that I could be a part of. People working out on their own time, but together?! The thought excited me. People complaining about how hard that was, WITH ME? Awesome. People CHEERING each other on? AMAZING! I could be myself with these people I just met. There was no judgment, no discouragement, no trolling (how many online groups can say THAT these days?!). Just a lot of support, sharing and connecting.
ACCOUNTABILITY. Being a part of this team, I feel like I not only owe it to myself but to them too to keep going. Knowing that I wasn’t alone motivated me to keep going. I’d see other people posting about their workouts and it would get me excited to post that I had done mine. And maybe, my post would motivate someone to do theirs.
Then this week, I found myself at the halfway point of the program. I took some progress photos and compared them to before I started. Seeing the physical changes has been pretty crazy…more on this soon!