There once was a community of like-minded folks who met at Plymouth Rock every Wednesday morning at 6 AM (5 and 6 on the last Wednesday) to hug, and high five, and socialize, but also to work out hard and sprint up stairs and roll around on the grass and mud. They brought in a wide variety of personalities and body types, but there was never judgement, only a willingness to get uncomfortable at the crack of dawn whilst getting their heart rate up a bit.
Well, the two guys who started this group–one kind of reserved but bubbling with spirit, and the other magnetic and extroverted–had a hope for this group. It wasn’t necessarily dependent on numbers or recognition from outside, but more related to a kind of ethos they hoped would spread through as many people as possible. This ethos revolved around this concept of “weatherproof,” and showing up no matter what each week, because sometimes just doing that can help your community members get through whatever life throws at them. Consistency, they say, is the key to a lot of really good, rewarding things.
Showing up to Plymouth Rock early in the morning during the summer or spring isn’t so hard: the sunshine and warmer temperatures are very inviting. But as those North Eastern denizens of the 21st century knew, the fall and winter can be pretty nasty, especially right on the ocean there in Plymouth, MA. So, while the leaders hoped for their weatherproof mantra to become a staple in the community, it didn’t latch on right away. People were unsure how to dress for the colder mornings, and didn’t feel comfortable putting themselves in those situations. The unknown, for them, was a scary thing, and who could blame them.
Well, one afternoon in late October, one of the leaders decided to send out a message to the community, helping to offer some insights he had gleaned on how to best tackle the outdoors during the cold weather. The responses didn’t come back right away, but there was a sense this type of knowledge was helpful, because what the leaders had learned was that if you’re armed with the right attire and the right attitude, no outside force could really slow them down.
So on the first Wednesday in November of that year, the leaders showed up an hour early to prepare for their weekly workout. They had ambitions and prepared for the best, but there was a biting cold and a little wind, and they half expected a rather small contingent to show up ready to exercise. Instead, 30+ humans came shuffling and bouncing over, ready to be apart of this community in whatever unique way they could. The leaders learned a lesson that day about themselves and those in the community: sharing a little hard-earned knowledge can go a long way in helping people get out of their comfort zone. And as a result, the group had one of their best workouts in quite some time. It didn’t matter that it was cold and bitter, because they had learned what being there as a member of a community meant.
So that ethos the leaders hoped would permeate? It slowly began to take root in the community, and they were able to move, cajole, and grow together no matter what the weather threw at them.