I think a lot of what I'm really concerned about with the prospect of moving or the idea of staying is the feeling that deep inside all of us is a need for community. There's always the pack animal mentality running around in our head, and let's face it without other people we get really lonely.

I've enrolled in an online masters program (year long, so it doesn't really impact the whole Ausiland decision), and while I'm looking forward to the education and making virtual connections there is something to be said about belly to belly, face to face interactions. Sure, I haven't met everyone who reads this blog face to face, but I think we'd both agree that our interactions would be improved with that kind of meeting.

In college and in old age this idea of community seems much more accepted.

Dorm rooms are breeding grounds for making friends, as are class rooms. Without a social life in college we aren't really anything. It's the same in old age. You'd be hard pressed to enter into a coffee shop and not see a group of aged people sitting around telling stories at inappropriate volume levels.

Coffee Time

Yet when it comes to being social after school there's a hesitancy. I've talked with a lot of people in the area that I live and most find it difficult to connect with people our age. The strange thing is that everyone I talk with wants to make those connections.

I'm pretty sure that it comes down to a boldness that we lose; the atmosphere isn't as inviting to make new connections, and they don't seem as important. That last statement couldn't be further from the truth.

There's a reason old people gather together. First there's that deep human connection that I mentioned, the need for others. Second, without their group their social choices would be down to nothing. Thirdly, and this is the one that matters, is that there's a sense of ownership, accountability, and belonging.

It's an odd tie in to the gym world for sure, but let's go deeper. Without a sense of ownership, accountability, and belonging we tend not to go to the gym and workout. People who have their friends save them a spot in the spin class, or wait for them to workout have a feeling of obligation to get to the gym. Without it the only person you're letting down is you, and when push comes to shove you would rather watch bad reality TV and eat cookie dough (am I projecting?).

Simply put I'm telling you that you need a bold movement to make connections at the gym, and follow through with those connections. On top of speeding up your workout results you're doing yourself some good by expanding your social circle and exposing yourself to new things. Which is always, always, a good thing.



P.S. Yes I took that picture with my camera phone at the local Peet's Coffee after my Pilates mat class at Walnut Creek Sport and Fitness, does that make me a stalker or a paparazzi?