How would you define “community”? I always thought of it simply as a geographic region such as a city. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a unified body of individuals”. After this past weekend I couldn't agree more!
I've been running with RunnersWorld Tulsa training groups for a few years and have made many new friends along the way. I’ve discovered some with common beliefs (and some polar opposites).
Over the past few months a saw something unexpected – a simple “suggestion” became more like a virus in a small community. Of course it was fueled by discussion, support and a bit of peer pressure. Before long nine dedicated runners had become Triathletes! These people went out of their way to take on a new challenge. Nothing motivated them more than the encouragement from their running buddies – their community. They dusted off their bikes or borrowed biked from friends and neighbors, researched training plans, and rallied each other for long training sessions.
Misty, Darcy, Sue, Kathy, Guy, Troy, Tom, Venus and Lygea (not pictured) are now TRIATHLETES and members of another strong community!!
The most impressive thing to me is that each person had the courage to start. While each had their own reason they worked together as a community to take on and overcome a new challenge. I’m glad that I can call each one of the people my “triathlete buddy” now (in addition to my “running buddy”).
This reminds me of the results I see with the kids attending Westside YMCA and Camp Takatoka. Many of these kids start their first week away from home in a strange location with strange kids and councilors. By the end of the five days they have made friends for life, learned they can take on new challenges and overcame their fears. These experiences are truly life-changing and these kids will be part of an unbreakable community of their own.
I’m able to see firsthand how my financial and time contributions have impacted many lives. This is why I am donating as much as I can this year. I encourage you to do the same. As of today I have raised $1039. Please join me and my other buddies supporting this community. You can donate now at http://www.ymcatulsa.org/