I belong to a Facebook group called Denis’s Menaces. It’s a Peloton “tribe” of folks who all are big fans of Denis Morton, the long haired, knife jawed, Spiritual Gangster cycling and Yoga instructor, who has the best taste in music i have ever experienced and a sense of humor that often has me in stitches. We all adore Denis, his motivation, his stories (John Prewitt #KennyBania even makes recordings of “Story Time with Uncle Denis” to watch later), and more, and that’s what brought us together, but this little group has become a family (we call it a #pelofam) of sorts. Denis’ oft repeated “we cheer for each other in here” has pervaded the group and there is unity and unfailing encouragement of one another along our journeys. Instead of comparing and competing on the leaderboard in a way that brings ourselves down, we literally cheer for each other’s PRs and crazy high outputs and milestones. Y’all we even have a thread to keep track of who is celebrating a milestone when, so we can try to ride together and cheer for each other! I LOVE these folks. It was a fellow Menace who got me out of my “I’m not ready for intermediate yoga” mindset and be brave enough to just go for it, and be willing to fall, modify, do whatever i need to, but not to sell myself short. There is a HRI (Home Rider Invasion) next month, where members of our tribe will all gather at the Mothership (The NYC Peloton studios) and ride together, flow together, and get a little face time with Denis. I’m not going to be able to go this time, but i will hopefully get to take part in a few classes live from home during that weekend and join my Menaces!
I haven’t been as active in the group as I’d like, and I plan on being more active soon, but when I do post or comment, I’m reminded of why I love these folks. We are truly members of One Peloton. (Google what the word Peloton means-when I did, it made me cry.) Big thanks to Ellen and Jessica who are the group admins and do so much for us to spread and maintain the Menace spirit! This group is one of the only reasons I’m still on Facebook. Shout out to alllll the Menaces reading this: I am SO thankful we are on this road together! The Menaces has given me back something I didn’t realize I was missing after having left the gym a few years ago when we moved and it was no longer a mile away, and the Facebook group of Jillian Michaels enthusiasts I was a core member of just disappeared- my fitness community. I thrive on community, and it’s no surprise that that extends to one of the most important areas in my life. There’s something about knowing that other people are on this journey of doing hard things with you and beside you-not competing with you, not trying to best or one-up you, but supporting you and struggling too. I had been riding with the same ten to twenty people 2-3 times a week for about 5 years when we left the gym. That’s community. Those folks saw me through infertility, fertility treatments, a pregnancy, postpartum, a miscarriage and its aftermath, more infertility, another pregnancy, another postpartum… so much. It was really hard to just not see them anymore, Fortunately I am still in touch with my favorite cycle and yoga instructor from the gym, and she still prays for me and cheers me on. (I ❤ you, Shelle!) It was really hard for the past few years, to feel like I’ve been going this alone, for the most part. Even though I’ve peripherally been a Menace for over a year, I’ve recently realized I need to lean into being a *part* of the group more, engaging and encouraging and receiving. They are there for me, but I have to be brave enough to walk in the room and introduce myself- even though it’s a crowded room, we are all there for the same reason. Also, if I know more people in the room, going to the next HRI would feel a lot less daunting. What about you? Do you have a community to share your fitness journey with? Do you have anyone cheering you on, encouraging you, willing to meet you where you are and journey beside you? If not, I’d strongly encourage you to seek it out. It could be a friend to meet you at the park, or go to a class with you, it could be just connecting with someone already in your class so you have accountability- people notice when you’re missing if you’ve introduced yourself! We are wired for community, and the challenge of getting fitter and stronger is definitely less daunting. When we know there are others beside us in the trenches.
Menaces, I love riding with you, and if you want to follow me, i am #AbideandConquer
One thought on “Where My Menaces At? (The importance of community to my fitness journey)”
Being a group of fellow fitness friends is the best! I am fairly new to the menace group but love how supportive and encouraging everyone is. The best part is that it brings together so many people of such different fitness levels who all support each other.