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Good Vibes and Your Tribe

Good Vibes and Your Tribe

There is no doubt that personal motivation and dedication are essential in taking on any new fitness or wellness challenges.  However, the support of a the right community of people with the right culture of motivation has the potential to transform simple weight loss or performance goal beyond initial expectations and into an ingrained way of life, the #nosweatlife.

A rising tide floats all boats

I have been very fortunate to have been a part of a few amazing athletic tribes.  Interestingly, I don't think any of us fully appreciated quite how powerfully we motivated one another in the moment.  Probably because we were too busy enjoying ourselves or geeking out on the technicalities of how to better train for a new goal.  It is true. I have spent more lunches among fellow tennis/running/yoga maniacs swapping tidbits on exactly how to position ones hips, turn ones grip, elongate ones stride, etc than any sane adult might care to admit.  I couldn't get enough. It is a powerful sense of purpose and belonging to to feed off a group (or team) energy that propels the collective forward to new heights.

Excellence loves excellence. 

Why do some groups harness a motivational vibe while others don’t?   Is it some cosmic force of time and place?  In part.  Connecting on the same level- both in terms of time and dedication- is certainly important and energy is infectious.  But I think there is more. People are drawn together by mutual inspiration, a kind of mutual motivational give and take. Friendly rivalry is healthy.  Recognizing someone elses’ excellence and using it to fuel your own performance is rewarding for both people.   The differentiating factor is the collective perspective. A tribal culture where excellence is seen as motivating rather than threatening.  Where everyone feels like they are both giving and receiving in just the right amounts.

5 key things to consider in finding (or building) your next tribe:

  1. It should be fun.  Chemistry is key and fitness should be something to look forward to. If you feel immediately connected to an environment, an activity or a teacher it’s a good sign you are in the right spot.  If something feels like a chore from the get go, you probably haven't found the right fit. A good crew makes you want to be there
  2. Shared energy or goals.  If your training partner is dedicated to a 20hr training week and your really more a weekend warrior you’re not equally invested.  The chemistry will fade.
  3. Meeting on the same level is important. If you are looking for a crew (or a partner) rather than a teacher or leader, mutual inspiration is a must.  Just as with any relationship, first among equals is the best policy.  Every member has to feel like they have something to learn or gain from the crew.
  4. Generosity of spirit.  HEALTHY competition is the key.  Jealousy and antagonism are counter productive.
  5. It takes time and you should be selective. There is some cosmic energy that brings the right people together.  Improving your own game in the space between will make you that much more attractive when the right fit comes along.

While this was not intended to be a romance column it almost could be.  Now go forth and emanate your essence of excellence the right crew is just waiting for you.

Useful Links

  1. 20 Ways to Stick to you Workout Routine
  2. Health Benefits of Finding Your Tribe
  3. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.  Sebastien Junger



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