Recently a young family friend went to the hospital because of heart issues. Not totally uncommon among American society today – but alarming, none the less. Shortly after I caught a Facebook update which said something about CT5K – I didn’t know what the meant at first, but finally figured out he was working on a popular running program called “Couch to 5K“.
It looked pretty good and with a dark outlook on my life expectancy (I’m very over weight and have been for a long time, my Mother passed away from breast cancer in her early 50’s and my Dad of a heart attack at age 61) – not the odds you want to bet on. So I downloaded an iPhone app to assist and started the CT5K myself this week.
Community (the real stuff – not this “made-up online stuff)
On my first day of training a family friend had stopped at our house just before I had a chance to leave – we talked for a bit, he left and I started my 9 week (which I’m gonna need at least 12 to get through) training regiment. This friend is an avid runner, about 1/2 way into the “run” he passed me on the road…he didn’t stop to chat, just smiled and a waved – it wasn’t “regular” wave, but it was a “I’m proud of you Tom wave” and I know he was. It made me feel good – a nod of approval.
The second night of the program was last night. It went a little better than the first, but the best part was when i was in cool down mode and almost home. My neighbor from a few houses down pulled up beside me and said “Hey – are you exercising!?” I said “Yea, is that OK?” :) She said yes, but you know – if you keep that up we might have to start too. We talked for a bit longer – I cannot tell you the last time I spoke to her…it had been a while – but I felt good. I couldn’t help but think of this as a community experience.
How does it all tie together?
I just couldn’t help but think of my work as a web designer and as a technologist and social media user/advocate. I thought about how many hours I have spent online – building websites, reading about social media, reading about how a successful community works, thinking about new ways to engage audiences and it just basically hit me like a ton of bricks.
It’s about doing – not watching/lurking/monitoring. We have to wade in the river – for realz! Not read about the best practice, not buy the newest plugin or pickup the lastest book by the coolest new author – but really just do it.
It felt so comforting to know that two real people where proud of me and tat we engaged in something. Now – I know, this same thing can happen online and virtually…but it still ties in. You have to get off the couch and get in the game. And when you do – you know what, its kind of fun.