Community of Well Being
by Mary Chase
Today I went on one of those long runs during half marathon training that you dread, because you fear what your body isn’t capable of, what the weather will be, and whether or not you can conquer all the unknowns on the road ahead. As I approached the course, I found myself annoyed that I wouldn’t be the only person doing this training run, because the
parking lot was full and I had already passed several runners upon my arrival. I was definitely having one of those “need to be alone” mornings.
However, as I trudged along I realized something: how fortunate I am. I encountered runners, walkers, and cyclists the entire time. My outlook changed on those nine miles. I realized that although I didn’t speak, hardly more than a wave to any one of those individuals, I am fortunate because I live and exercise amongst a community of wellbeing: a community that puts value on a healthy, long, and bountiful life, which is something that I also hold in high esteem.
The people I encountered this morning were of all ages; male, female, undoubtedly different backgrounds, but our common bond was our quest to be healthy on the beautiful, sunny Colorado morning. Someone famous once said, “it’s not the days in your life, but the life in your days.” The strangers I encountered today helped give life to a run and outlook that was pretty lifeless. They gave me, and I hope I gave them, a community of well- being.
So I decided to pay it forward. Instead of writing about appropriate portion control or how much cardiovascular exercise you should be getting, I thought I would encourage you to find your community of wellbeing: the group and/or atmosphere that empowers you to strive for more, be more, live more. That community of wellbeing may be present in many different facets of your life, in many different ways. I certainly get a different community of wellbeing in my yoga class, where my community of wellbeing helps me to focus on what my body is trying to tell me, and to take time to slow down and listen to what that body is saying. On my run this morning, my community of well being was amongst athletes of all levels where I was excited to see them pushing themselves physically to that next level. Yet no matter the environment, I feel joy in knowing I live amongst beautiful scenery and wonderful people that enable me to have a wonderful community of wellbeing just by being there, often without saying a word.