For the past 2 weeks, I have been reading "Better Together," a 24-day devotional by Pastor Rick Warren. After ending a 5 year long friendship with a close person, I didn't want to be bitter, sad, or angry anymore (it caught me off guard). I stumbled across this devotional in my favorite place to gather my marbles and hold onto my sanity--The Bible App. Each day, my hope and faith were restored as I was enlightened by the purpose of having meaningful, substantive relationships in addition to the power and magic behind fellowship. Two themes resonated with me over and over again: Community and Growth.
While the idea of Fit-In came to me several months ago, the urgency to create and produce didn't occur until recently. It was the kindness of a stranger who opened up to me about her struggles in trying to regain her footing on her life path that re-invigorated my need to do SOMETHING and let go of the fear of failure. She found her bravery by conquering her fear of heights [Homegirl swung for her life on a trapeze and then took the skies and jumped out of a plane!!! Not I said that cat! Nope. Never. Negative], which lead to the start of her rapidly growing Instagram page and Facebook group. In the midst of her testimony and me sharing my dreams/fears, she hit me with the old Nike adage, "Just do it!"
And so I did. 24 hours later, the site was complete.
The support of my longtime friends sustained me through the sleepless night of "production." Every reaffirming text message and phone call of encouragement fueled me to keep going and press forward when I had no clue what I was doing. Google provided me with some answers, but didn't give me the proverbial hand-holding I needed to push all the way through. [Google, don't go stealing my idea... y'all saw it here first.]
The eager ears of the Thrive! Women's Initiative group of East Harlem I co-facilitate every week helped me to recognize my growth as public speaker and the need to disseminate information about health, nutrition, and physical activity to women and people at-risk for health maladies from a "start from where you are" stand point and "don't beat yourself up in the process" perspective. It also helped me put a face to the audience that Fit-In would be addressing, helping, and inspiring.
What does this have to do with Fit-In? Simple. Everything.
In order to change and grow, we have to recognize that we can't do it alone. No one possesses all of the 'right' answers or tools and the journey can be long and arduous to whatever fitness or health goal one is trying to achieve. Support and encouragement are needed along the way. While some may be able to reach their goals 'on their own,' it's more effective when it's done as a team. As my mother always tells me: Plenty hand mek work light! (Plenty hands makes work light).
Fit-In wouldn't exist without the encouragement and support I received from others. It also won't grow on its own. Community is essential to its success and yours, whatever your goal maybe.