I am going to chat up my gym a little bit, FIRE Fitness Camp. My Facebook memories popped up this morning, and the first thing was pictures from my first Black Label event. Once a month, on a Friday night, they put on these workouts, they are designed to challenge us with tasks a little different than we do in our camps. To push our limits a little and measure our progress. I was at FIRE for about 8 months before I had the courage to attend one of these Friday workouts. Last night I attended my 14th or 15 Black Label.
That’s the thing about this place. They challenge us, push us, get us doing things a normal mind couldn’t dream up. But what keeps us coming through the door is the sense of community we have there. It is an interesting mix of people, some are real health conscious, some are just starting out, and everyone in between. We have goals in common, and some are different. But whatever you are after, you fit in here.
The way we come together to help someone climb a rope for the first time, cheering and hooting and hollering. Last night they had the sleds loaded with a ridiculous amount of weight, and the object was to pull it by using a row- getting low and pulling from your chest area. And to challenge you a coach or another person would jump on, and encourage you and everyone else cheers and chants. We flip big tractor tires, can’t get it on your own, anyone will come and help you and high five you after. It’s all very Rah Rah! And I love it! It is the essence of this place, Lift Each Other Up!!! Oh yeah, then we drink beer.
It’s changed me physically, of course. But it has really affected me mentally. I find myself cheering people on in other aspects of my life too. I feel more positive in my own actions, but also towards others. I don’t exactly cheer someone on to finish that margarita, but I might soon. It’s cumulative, this positive influence I now have in my life. There are some things I haven’t accomplished there yet. Those ropes are hard for me, but I will get there. I will get to the point I will do a real pull up. I know this because they, everyone around me at FIRE, tells me I will and I absolutely believe them.
I won’t tell you that you have to run to a gym and try to find this experience. It is different for everyone. But what I would like to challenge you to do is find a place where you feel encouraged. Where someone will cheer for you. Not everyone has that in their life, and now that I have it I can not imagine going backwards to a place where I don’t feel like someone has my back. Maybe you can find it at a church, or in a club, even at a library. I think a big issue in our current world is isolation, and if you can feel like you belong somewhere, maybe we can bridge more gaps in other places in the world. And cheer for others, lift them up. It is easy when you start. Compliment a stranger on their shirt, hair color, earrings, man bun, whatever. I don’t quite think we will save the universe, but you may save one person on what may be a dark day for them.
I know how lucky I am to have found my place. I have had some friends follow me there, and I see the changes with them too. I have met people at FIRE and seen their inner light shine super bright as a result. It is my happy place, even if they make me swear and sweat and occasionally take too much ibuprofen. It is mine. I hope you find yours, and watch your world change in the best way ever.