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Coach's Corner: Keeping In Community

Being involved in a community is so important - not only to have others to train with and spur us on, but to have others that we can download with, bounce ideas off and get clarity.

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Keeping in Community

My husband and I have a garage gym. I've never once in 10 years parked my car in the garage, as it's always been full of building materials or gym equipment. I don't complain though - I'd rather a gym in the garage than no gym at all.

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Around 5 or 6 years ago after we began introducing strength into our training - starting with kettlebells until we found CrossFit. We invited a few friends to come and join us. Over the years, we have had dozens of people come through our garage doors initially for a workout, but they have become a part of our community. Our children have grown up with sometimes masses of people invading our driveway 2 to 3 times per week, witnessing a few with their head in the gutter from going too hard or lying flat on the concrete after a long AMRAP. Over these years we have come to realise what CrossFit does so well - it builds community.

While we aren't a "CrossFit" gym (as much as I would love to own a gym in a larger scale building!), we are a community. We haven't just opened our doors to a bunch of mates, or friends of friends, to come and train, but have built friendships, encouraged one another and opened up the opportunity for conversation - particularly for when days are hard or people are struggling. Its given us the opportunity to grow alongside young people and mentor them as well as encourage others older than us to take care of their bodies and instill a belief in them that they can achieve whatever they put their mind too.

Being involved in a community is so important - not only to have others to train with and spur us on, but to have others that we can download with, bounce ideas off and get clarity.


Now more than ever, we are part of a larger community that is trying to break the stigma around mental health. We are trying to show others that it's okay to speak up when they're struggling, to reach out for help. The problem comes when we aren't in touch with our community, we often miss the hard stuff, or, for ourselves, become unwilling or unable to speak up. Having had so many weeks apart from the communities we are a part of, have we taken the opportunity to ask each other 'how are you doing?' 

It's easy for us to say to others that are struggling to speak out - but have you ever been the one that was struggling? What kind of person did you wish you had in your life that asked you the right question at the right time? To break the stigma around mental health, we all need to be those people - the ones that are willing to ask the genuine "how are you" and be ready to hear the real answer. 
No one is immune from life's challenges. We all have a curveball thrown at us every now and then. The great thing is, that when you're a part of a community, you can call on people to help you through those challenges. In our tiny gym, we have found that when people come together and train, guards are let down, defences are let go and people begin to speak - as if all the blood is removed from the brain that guards us from talking and finally allows the words to flow. 
Dont be a stranger in your community  - bring in all the strengths that you have and be open to the possibility of influencing someone else in your circle by providing a listening ear. 

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui 

Be strong, be steadfast, be willing.