Community is Where I PracticeNov 01, 2022 06:00AM ● By Denise Natasha Brewley (Chef Beee), Ph.D., MBA, HHC
Alone, we can do so little; Together, we can do so much. -Helen Keller
Within the last few months, I started back at taking classes at the gym consistently. I tried to get things going during the pandemic, but there were so many people in one gym space, it made me a little uneasy. So I took a pause in getting a membership and came back to it when I felt more comfortable. I have always enjoyed group spin classes because I find them super challenging, so I started there. And, as if I weren’t a glutton for more punishment, I also decided to work with a trainer three times a week to improve my core strength and build other areas of my body.
It’s amazing how quickly your body forgets your fitness practice when you are not actively working on it.
Fitness has always been an area of my life that I truly enjoy and find necessary. But in this case, since I was out of practice, I knew I needed a little bit of a push to get things going again. Although I am motivated to start and complete many things on my own, I still needed regular accountability— folks to tell me directly, unabashedly, about when I wasn’t showing up or
showing out. I needed a community.
Funny thing about communities: Many of us need them to exist and to function. Some of us need them to grow and to thrive. I didn't realize how much I needed community until after the pandemic calmed down—when I started to get back on my fitness game. I realized the need was connected to being united with a group of people that truly believed in working on their wellness each and every day. No one ever said it or explained it quite like that, but the energy of the space and the commitment of the people that showed up every day helped me to know that this was a shared value.
My gym community also reminded me that I am never really alone and that I don’t have to be by myself. People are right by my side, stretching my perspectives on things, challenging me to be better, rooting for me when I am down. And I am doing the same for them.
When I started looking around, I realized that communities showed up in many other aspects of my life, too. There was my businesswomen community, my work community, my parent community and even my plant-based foodie community just to name a few. Established in these spaces is a deep sense of trust that helps us stay grounded, support one another and grow.
I get very motivated working in spaces like these, where there is a collective mission that is unspoken yet acted upon each and every day. Community is where I practice who I want to be, what I want to create, and how I can demonstrate unwavering support of others.
Belonging to a community has given me a greater sense of purpose along with the feeling of being part of something bigger than myself. I get to feel like I belong and that I am needed by others as much as they are needed by me. ❧