Written by: Thaddeus Taylor
Let’s get real for a second. When you hear the word “Community” what do you think of?
Friends, family, neighbours, maybe your church group or your Zumba classmates. Possibly your local law enforcement officers, firefighters.
No matter which way we look it seems like the world is drifting further and further apart. Whether it be due to restrictions forcing us to work from home, gyms being closed or having maximum amounts of people that we are allowed to hang out with, this changes our society and community drastically when comparing it to even 2019.
I remember being super lucky growing up. My family lived on a street that embraced the sense of community. If you drove down our street, you were getting at least three neighbours waving at you. You’re working on your car? Well, you have the neighbours across the street coming over to see if there are any tools that you need to borrow. And if you were over the age of 50, you wouldn’t dare let us see you shovelling your driveway otherwise you have three 12-year-olds yelling at you to get back inside so that we could do the work. COMMUNITY.
When I first moved to Calgary I moved in with one of my closest friends from back home, who would occasionally stay over and always comment that our street was one of those that you would see in a movie. The day I moved in I dropped a glass on the floor, so I wandered over to the neighbours to introduce myself and see if they had a broom I could borrow. He had already lived in this condo for two years (Yes, weird I know, he’s been in the condo for so long but didn’t have a broom) but had never met the neighbours and didn’t know anyone in the building. Next door were two of the sweetest girls, the same age as us with essentially the same views on life. Long story short we ended becoming great friends that had a few too many wine nights together but also did multiple workouts together, helped each other move furniture and were able to build a relationship where we knew we weren’t alone.
By dropping that glass and knocking on that door, it changed our whole experience over the next two years in that building.
The environment that I was raised in has taught me that those around you, whether stranger or friend are in fact your community. In today’s distant world, the effect that a simple smile from someone walking down the street or a conversation in the grocery store can have on our mental health is massive, especially with everyone feeling so isolated. Right now is definitely not the easiest time to get together with others, but this does not mean that we need to push our community further away. In fact, this is the time that we should try even harder to bring our community closer.
I challenge you. Over the next month go out of your way to reach out to that person that you haven’t talked to in a while. Hold that door open for that person carrying their groceries a few steps behind you. Try to schedule a workout online with your friend that is also slacking, so you can push each other. Or even just smile and say hello to that person walking past you on the street who looks like they’re having a below-average day. You never know the effect it can have on them and yourself.
Build that old-school community.
Here are some exercise challenges you can do with friends or family!
Click on the image to view the full challenge
Muscle Release Challenge
Core Ball Challenge