The Importance of Community

The Importance of Community
October 22, 2014 Jess

When Beej and I decided to move back to Newport after nine years in Boulder, we knew we were coming home.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been just shy of four years since we turned the key to start our journey east and the Subie didn’t start.  Determined to stay on task, we got a jump and off we moved, kids in tow.  Lhasa with a torn ACL and a $1,000 custom brace ‘to get her back home safely’, Weke our domestic sized panther and Harry, the sweetest boy ever.  The journey was smooth for the most part despite a disturbing night in a handicap room at a Motel 6. We landed in Newport nevertheless and settled into our changes.

BJ was well into his new role with Newport Harbor Corporation and I jumped right into building a new massage practice.  Between having many friends in the area and practicing a 10 minute abundance meditation on YouTube, things got off the ground quickly.  Working with local athletes I started to make connections in the race community and yoga fell perfectly into that mix.  As an instructor at two studios in the area now, I continue to make new connections everyday as I see my immersion in the wellness community growing.  The sense of connection that I feel in Newport runs deeper than what I’ve experienced in the past with one exception, Ironman.

If you’ve ever experienced an Ironman, as an athlete or spectator than you’ve seen the strong sense of support and community that comes with it.  To me it’s a feeling of oneness that I have defined as the key element in me going back for more. I recognized this motivator a while back as I was asked to define exactly what I love about long course triathlon.  When I really drilled down I found the sense of community that I experience is what brings me the most joy. This is because, like all fellow humans, community is my nature. It gives us a sense of connection and belonging which is fundamental to our sense of happiness and well being. For the past year, both BJ and I have been getting hit with many signs around the idea of community. We were open to the idea from the start but weren’t sure exactly where or how. So we just opened our hearts to the possibilities and eventually we felt inspired to plant a few seeds which have already started to grow.  One of which came to fruition Saturday as I hosted my first Yoga for Athletes workshop.

Following the event, BJ and I went to dinner as we were both riding the high of an incredible afternoon.  I shared with him that the way I felt in that moment was similar to finishing an Ironman. I could see this feeling was coming from the community that was built when 13 people came together earlier that day to learn how to better care for themselves.  It was a perfect match for my bank of knowledge having spent the last 10 years studying the body and competing in triathlon.  The entire event felt alive and it flowed effortlessly from my post as facilitator.  Version 2.0 is already in the making and my eyes are set on January 2015.

The other seed which has blossomed effortlessly in our drive to create community is organizing group workouts.  After talking about it for many years while we continued to train in isolation, the urge came strongly to BJ a few weeks ago and he put it out there.  Now, every Friday a group of us meet at 6am ready to run in front of Empire Coffee on Bellevue and finish up with an hour of power at Newport Power Yoga with moi at the helm.  It’s been so much fun and the best way to start a Friday.  Please join us! BJ is also offering up his great bank knowledge in the form of free coaching – check out his latest post, a must read athletes, click here

For many years I’ve felt the great joy that community brings to my life but was not able to see it as clearly as I do now.  We both feel strongly that our role in this community is around supporting others to live their dreams, to realize that anything is an option and that a life without pain is possible.  Community is our nature, it breeds connection and connection is what we our falling apart world needs right now.  Namaste.


1 Comment


  1. […] surprised?  Plus, with our recent running group going strong, we can continue to build that community here on the island.  The first day Jess and I were there bright and early.  And we were the only […]

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