This weekend I caught up on some TV that a few of my friends had recommended.
The first programme was ‘Anthony Joshua: The road to Klitschko’ and the other ‘Mind over Marathon’.
The first documentary followed heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua over the last two years as he journeyed his way towards the biggest fight of his career with Vladimir Klitschko (which also took place last weekend).
The second was a two-parter following ten men and women who all suffer from some form of mental illness as they took up the challenge to run this year’s London Marathon. The programme aimed to highlight how physical activity such as running can be a beneficial mechanism for maintaining mental wellness.
Both programmes featured sports that require a great level of self-belief, determination and persistence from the individuals.
But what was a striking element in both was the significance of ‘community’.
Anthony Joshua has a solid support network of people around him – his “squad”.
In the documentary, it showed how they are there not only to make sure he’s well prepared for his fights, but also to keep him grounded, focused, and for some amazing banter (I had many laugh out loud moments as I was watching the programme).
It was really apparent each of these individuals in Anthony’s crew are ideal for him. He’d selected them to be there with him. He’d chosen his tribe. They empower him to be the best he can be, to get in the boxing ring by himself and achieve what needs to be achieved.
What I loved in Mind over Marathon was seeing the community evolve during the programme. The 10 individuals had never met each other before and for some just going somewhere new, meeting new people, triggered off their anxiety.
But as they progressed through their training they began to connect with each other through their common goal. They would support and encourage one another. And even when some had to drop out, the group wouldn’t allow them to see it as a failure. They were there for each other no matter what, even when they were experiencing hard times themselves.
Their unity came as a result of understanding they were not alone in having to deal with a mental illness, that many other people have experience of this too. The ability to be able to open up to other people and not feel judged also strengthened the connection of the group.
In both programmes, success was celebrated by everyone in that community, whether they had personally participated in the event or not.
Having a community around you, whether it be a physical one or an online one, can provide such amazing benefits.
What’s even more powerful is a community you choose for yourself.
It’s ok to join other communities but trying to fit into someone else’s community can leave you feeling out of sorts. So create your own, bring your community to you!
Like Anthony Joshua has shown the power of – pick the people you want and need around you.
Find the people who will champion you, who will acknowledge you, who will listen to you, who will empower you. Most importantly who will NOT judge you. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up no matter what!
When you surround yourself with people you have chosen you can shine as your authentic self, you can strive for the big goals, you can make your dreams come true!
I heard someone say this recently and thought it was brilliant…..
“Don’t be a tribute act in your life, be the main event.”
Be the main event in your community, your squad!
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