The Power of Community

Joseph Ilustrisimo


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This year has been unpredictable. One of the most fascinating aspects of a world-wide pandemic is that almost every single person is affected, whether directly or indirectly. Celebrities, political officials, friends, and even family members have now had Covid-19 at some point. Although in times of great fear and stress, we often see the best and worst of people, this has also been a time of great unity. We are fighting together against a common problem. We are fighting together and it is beautiful. 

When you go to the grocery store you might notice some weird things: no toilet paper, no hand sanitizer, and the frantic people hoarding all the canned goods stocking up for an apocalypse. But you also see communities coming together to best support those that need it most. One of my favorite signs to see in stores says, “Senior Hour”. Thankfully I do not need to get groceries at 8 or 9 in the morning and it is amazing to see how the community is coming together. 

Every level of the fitness world has had to adapt, from individual trainers to professional athletes. Funny enough, these pro-athletes who get paid millions of dollars per year are using a lot of the same tools we do. The Los Angeles Lakers, who were a front-runner to win the NBA Championship this year before the Covid-19 epidemic, have even had to shift over to Zoom video conferencing for their home workouts! 

Shams Charania of Stadium said the Lakers are looking into Zoom workouts as a way “to continue building camaraderie and a championship mindset.” This is awesome to see and shows that COVID -19 is impacting everyone – no matter who you are, we are in this together. We are also seeing religious organizations connecting through zoom or other chat room services because they know  we can all benefit from community. It may sound cliche, but we are better together. 

The clothing company Hill City is doing a virtual run club on Thursday’s where they go on runs independently and track their workouts via the running app Strava. It is amazing to see how the virtual training group continues to grow every single week and they are now even incorporating challenges. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of these runs is how so many of the runners participate even if they are not motivated because they do not want to let the others in their run club down. You can see the power of community every single Thursday on the Hill City Instagram. 

When COVID-19 hit, everything changed. At Dryft, we take great pride in many aspects of our classes. Our studio won “Most Instagrammable” on ClassPass because while you are sweating your face off, you are breathing in that fresh San Francisco air. You also get some of the best views in the Bay Area. We have high-energy instructors with high-energy beats to match. Our IRL classes were the perfect weekend getaway to break a sweat, but also find community. While we believe that nothing beats all the high-fives and fist-bumps that are given throughout the class, our Zoom classes are a pretty close second.  

Unfortunately, we cannot meet in our physical studio where we get the fresh San Francisco air and follow up class with brunch and chill. But, we are making the most out of our situation by offering a way that our clients can not only get a great sweat, but also a sense of what they are missing, community. Although our high fives are now virtual, they still symbolize the same thing people coming together in support and even if it is only for a few minutes, solidarity together. The fitness community is coming together like never before and we will be stronger at the end of all of this. 

Joseph is a Founding Fitness Instructor at Dryft and a holistic life coach. He is a corrective exercise specialist with nearly a decade of experience in the industry

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