How To Pass The Community Torch
By Megan Trombley
“I am so excited to go to EverProven today. I really love going and seeing all of my friends before class. I look forward to hearing about everyone’s day, and it is a huge stress relief for me. I would have to say my absolute favorite part though is all of the belly rubs and treats!”
- Bailey, a gym dog
When my dog Bailey first came to EverProven she was scared and confused. If you met her two years ago, you would have seen a completely different animal. She wouldn’t come out from behind the desk, she would shake uncontrollably, and wouldn’t look anyone in the eye or accept treats. Flash forward to present day where she now zooms around the gym floor with abandonment and happily runs up to people for attention. The transformation of Bailey is an amazing example of the powerful impact a close knit community can have on the psyche.
Over the past few decades there have been numerous scientific studies done on what factors contribute to overall happiness. Time after time, forming friendships has been at the top of the list. In a society where all aspects of life are becoming increasingly digital and impersonal, we find it is harder and harder to find and make these important connections.
I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by the EverProven community on a daily basis and have candid and vulnerable conversations with many of our members. I have heard countless times that coming to our gym is the best part of the day that they look forward to it all day long, and that it is nice to know that you can go to a place where you will be greeted by someone who genuinely wants to hear about your day and wants you to succeed. I take so much joy in watching someone attend their first class or someone dropping in during their travels. Just as everyone showed affection for Bailey since day one, we all show affection for these people (minus the belly rubs) we have just met. We do not question their motives for being here or wait to see how hard they push in the workout. We accept them as one of our own through introductions and fist bumps. This outreach to newcomers has an immediate result, the feeling of belonging and acceptance.
The workouts we do at EverProven on a daily basis are never easy, so why do we return? We return because the bonds we form with our peers enriches our life both inside and outside of the gym. I reach out to all of you today to remember how you felt your first day walking through the door. Most likely a little nervous, awkward and unsure of what to expect. I imagine most of us can relate so when you see that new person walk through the door, here are a few ways you can welcome them to our community and the potential to find happiness:
– The easiest by far: introduce yourself and ask them their name, even before the class begins. Let them know they aren’t invisible.
– Help them set up or breakdown their equipment. We quickly forget the struggle of putting clips on the barbell for the first time or what it’s like to need 4 pieces of equipment, none of which you have ever seen that you need for movements you have never done. The simple task of setting up for a workout can become a mountain to climb.
– Congratulate them for completing their workout; high fives and fist bumps work great for this!
– If a partner warm up, stretch or workout is on the table, offer to be their partner.
– Encourage them to return. When the class ends, ask them when they are coming to their next class or let them know you will see them tomorrow.
We are all so fortunate to have dozens of friends here that we call our family. Let’s continue to help our family grow by welcoming all who walk through our doors. You never know the impact a simple “hello” can have.