Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! Mikey and I are thoroughly enjoying a quiet morning that’s so far included sleeping in, drinking coffee, eating delicious breakfast foods (blueberries, bananas, oatmeal, and goat’s yogurt via Gina for me!) and reading the paper. I thought I’d look back at the past few days in photos as the weekend gets underway because they capture something I am passionate about cultivating our lives: com·mu·ni·ty:
–noun, plural -ties.
1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
2. a locality inhabited by such a group.
3. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the ): the business community; the community of scholars.
I don’t think many people engage in true community in their daily lives. In North America we live fairly isolated lives where we interact with others but not often at deep levels. The internet doesn’t always but can make matters worse as it’s easy to hide behind facades or only share some truth but hide what’s really going on. A true community cries when you cry, rejoices when you’re joyful, laughs when you laugh, upholds you when you need it, and knows who you are behind the masks. One reason I’m excited for the upcoming Healthy Living Summit is because I will get the chance to meet many people whose blogs I follow in person and join this community who has a love of health, fitness, food, and balanced living in common. That helps shape a community – having something in common – and I’m excited to see how these relationships will grow! We are blessed to be a part of the young adult cancer community, of our church community, of our families’ communities, and of our friends’ communities.
…enjoy a snapshot of our community-filled week!
A hike with friends – one visiting from Montreal (the beautiful Andréanne!) and the others local friends in Calgary who, just 11 weeks ago, had a beautiful baby boy, Nolan! After a delicious lunch together at home (maybe I’m biased? – I made it ), we headed outside and beat the thunderstorm to get a bit of a hike in at Cross Conservatory, a local park in the foothills that overlooks Calgary. Here are a few snapshots from our fun time together.
- That night, Mikey and I had plans to meet up with our friends Alyson and Jared – two people we love so much! They’re fun, intelligent, inspiring people who also show us all the cool things about Calgary – like places to eat! We dined at a small restaurant called Dairy Lane in Kensington. Every part of their restaurant is locally made and organic – even down to their soap, which was made specially for them by the Rocky Mountain Soap Co! The main ingredients on their menu? Burgers & wine (not beer! although they have that too); I always feel good eating meat when I know right where it came from, but I decided to split the Pesto & Gruyere Veggie Burger and Spinach & Feta Veggie Burger with Alyson. GOOD decision with a side salad and side of red wine. We will definitely be back to this place!
We sat and chatted for a good chunk of time after our meals were done, but noticing the line building up outside the small joint, we decided to take our party elsewhere – to gelato! I got a small, black Americano and had bites of everyone else’s gelato.
What a great day with good friends! From the morning to the evening it was fun to be with everyone and reconnect – time with people is the best time spent.
- Yesterday (Friday) morning, Mikey was at work so I decided to bump my long run from Saturday to Friday to make use of time alone (slash community with God! and the other runners/bikers/walkers I passed on the trail – it’s fun to share that love for fitness with strangers!). As you may recall, I’m not training for anything in particular, just enjoying long runs! So I set out to run around the Glenmore Reservoir and then decide at that time how many more miles to tack on to my loop. The first time around? Just over 9 miles (9.36 according to MapMyRun). I ran with my cell phone because I wanted to listen to a sermon, but this proved to be disastrous as my headphones didn’t work! I ended up carrying this beast the whole time, knowing from mile 1 that I had 8 more to loop before I could drop it off at the car. Oh well – it allowed me to take some photos on a beautifully sunny Calgary day:
My first bridge crossing and a crooked view from the top running along the higher ridge of the reservoir.
Snaking around near Heritage Park, about 7 miles I where I ate a Strawberry Banana Gu! It went down easy.
Actually feeling great toward the end! After this I dropped my gear off at the car, stretched a bit, ate a few dried cherries and grabbed a swig of water, and headed out for what I estimated to be about 4 more miles.
I thought the loop was 10 miles, so my ultimate, unofficial goal was 14 miles total. I have to admit, although I felt proud of completing this loop and then some and all the while feeling stronger as I went (the first few miles were TOUGH!), I added up the mileage to see a total of 13.86 in 2 hrs 4 min. Shoot! So close to a full 14, but I still felt great that I was able to get out, move for a bit, enjoy some scenery, and generally feel well after this long run.
Shots from the way home in my new sports bra (thanks mom!); happy to have my feet free!
After refueling and showering at home, I headed back out to get some groceries and get my eyebrows threaded (my special treat every few months! It’s a cheap indulgence ). I met up with Mikey back home and we got ready to head to our friends’ Elly and Ryan’s place for a BBQ! Again, a few more shots from the night:
Mikey & I holding brand new baby Peter! (Congrats to Nicole and Mook for this amazing little guy!)…he already has a great nickname from when they bathe him: “Slippery Pete!”
Jon, Mook, baby Peter, Nicole, & us; Elly and I (the beautiful, pregnant hostess with the mostess!).
Friends are so great! – I don’t know how else to say it. We’ve loved being back in Calgary for this reason – the community here is a kind, caring, supportive, loving, real one, and it reminds me of Hebrews 10:25:
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
It can be easy to decide to stay in after a long day of work, to take the weekends for yourself, to opt for relaxation instead of engaging with others. And sometimes we need that time to recharge in the ways that work best for us as individuals; knowing our boundaries and limits is an important part of healthy living. But sometimes going out or making an effort to be with others can be like a workout: it’s hard until you’re out the door, then you’re happy you did it. We were tired last night and found reasons to stay home and work, but choosing to engage in life with our friends and reconnect with this community, with “meeting together,” as Hebrews puts it, was the best decision we could have made. And now we’re subsequently enjoying a relaxing, to-ourselves Saturday morning.
What does community mean to you? Do you see it factoring into a healthy lifestyle? If so, how?
I hope you, too, have a community of people you can invest in and love who also invest in and love you. In fact, I’d love to hear about who they are! Family? Friends? Fellow gym goers? Online? There are so many communities to be a part of, but it takes intention and commitment to go deep with one another.
Have a great rest of your weekend! May it be filled with moments of experiencing true community. Live well & be well friends,
Me “communing” with some dough balls, which I made to share with various communities this weekend!