If ever there’s a time when community feels important, it’s Christmas time. When a year comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the highs and lows of the past 12 months, and the highs almost always involve my friends, clients and all those moments that contributed to a sense of community. In 2015, the fitness community particularly impressed me. So much so that, as of yesterday, I left the security of a rewarding full-time job to give more of my time and attention to the inspiring trainers, journalists, clients and friends who I am proud to count among my fitness family.
I’ve been part of a lot of communities during my life so far. There have been office communities, residential neighbourhoods, branches of extended family and my husband’s family, school and university networks, interest-related clubs and societies, online communities… so why did the fitness community make such a big impression on me?
I recently came across an Instagram quote that read: “I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.” I saved this quote because I think it’s a perfect summary of the fitness industry. Like sport, fitness can certainly give rise to competition, but beneath that sense of friendly rivalry rests an inherent respect for others within our fitness family and a wealth of goodwill to see others do well. Because in fitness, it’s precisely the success of others that inspires us to break down boundaries and be the best we can be.
When I was first thinking about training for my PT qualifications, I was astounded by how much encouragement I received from others in the fitness industry. There was no sense of unwanted competition, or fear of others’ success. There was only a desire to join together and spread the benefits of wellbeing, safe in the knowledge that each of us brings something unique to the table. Eager for the opportunity to reach more people and help them find that unsurpassable sense of empowerment that comes from surmounting the physical and mental challenges of exercise.
Fitness professionals and enthusiasts make up one of the biggest communities in social media for this very reason. We love to see others succeed, whether it’s through new PBs, trying new workouts, creating something delicious in the kitchen or making a complete physical and lifestyle transformation. On more practical terms, social media also plays a huge role in introducing us to new exercises or classes, meeting people who share similar goals or workout preferences, and keeping engaged through the advice and motivation always just one scroll away.
While I love social media, one of my favourite benefits of the fitness community is the way it fosters offline connections. Last week, after teaching TRX in Heartcore Fulham, I sat down on the tube beside a girl with an adorable dog nestled in her handbag. Her canine companion rightly sensed the dog-lover in me (and the golden retriever hairs on my coat after cuddling one of Heartcore’s many studio dogs) and jumped onto my lap. After mentioning I teach at Heartcore, the girl told me she is a regular at the nearby Power Yoga Company and we immediately bonded over our favourite yoga instructors and classes. Making conversation on the London Tube is a rarity, so I put this new addition to my growing fit fam down to the welcoming, supportive and inspiring community of people who strive for the best in wellbeing.
As we say goodbye to 2015 and usher in 2016 with more love, energy and determination than ever, I just want to say thank you to everyone who continues to teach, inspire and motivate me. And that includes YOU. Even more than fellow trainers, I am constantly learning from my clients. YOU are the reason I happily set my alarm for 5am and feel continually inspired to be the best version of myself. Your success is my success, and there’s no motivation bigger than that. Happy Christmas team! Let’s make 2016 epic!
Love Brit x
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my new fitness services, available from January!