Looking back on High School, it was a pretty rowdy place. Social dynamics between young adults are turbulent. There’s a wide variety of personality profiles combined with a social imperative to form or find a community. What happens when you mix reactive agents under pressure? Have you seen the videos of people putting mentos in a bottle of Coke? Chaos!
Do you know why the “Jock” character in movies and books is typecast as the boring one? It’s because they have the easy road to character development. It’s implied that this individual can skip the process of self awareness altogether and need only to physically develop to create their place in the world. What critics miss is that sport can serve as a delicate and nuanced community where you can both be validated for your effort, maintain individuality, drive your personal growth, face your fears (sometimes while the spotlight is directly on you), and see yourself change spiritually as a result of your involvement.
When I was growing up and developing I wasn’t a joiner. I chose environments where I could function in a relatively self-contained way. I valued, and still do, having my thoughts and actions be independent. In some ways it served me well because it cultivated focus and self discipline. In others not so well because it made it difficult to sample experiences. I’m still in love with the amount of change that can be catalyzed by a sport or fitness community. I admire the respectful balance of individuality with group involvement.
When the gym first started it reflected aspects of my desire to be independent and self-reliant. That’s not a beneficial mindset for a membership-based business! It was small, hidden from the main view, and not easily found. Over the years, my relationship with the gym has evolved in pace with a personal comfort level with being seen, being involved, not hiding, and processing things more externally.
My hope is that VashonStrong can be a community that facilitates similar transformations.