|The Team RWB-Louisiana Community|
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Start a Movement and Build a Community
I recently moved to West Point, New York from Alexandria, LA for a new assignment. I am a member of Team Red, White, and Blue (Team RWB) and was the chapter captain for the Central Louisiana area (Alexandria/ FT.Polk). Working with Jordi Goodman from New Orleans, Jason Merchant from Baton Rouge, and Jim Buzzell from FT. Polk, we built Team RWB Louisiana into a strong and thriving community focused on helping veterans reintegrate into local communities.
How did we do it??? We started a movement at community level. Watch the You Tube video below:
Original TED Talk by Derek Sivers available HERE
In Central Louisiana (CENLA) I focused on building the community promoting physical fitness by starting a free workout group that incorporated hard, challenging, and progressive physical fitness workouts that created a shared experience and building a bond between veterans and members of the CENLA community. The group meets three mornings a week and conducts workouts outside in various parking lots around Alexandria, La.
By focusing on physical fitness in the form of a free workout group where veterans and community members of any fitness level were welcomed, I built the group to a core group of about 12 people and had as many as 18 participants at any one time. That group transformed into a physical fitness community dedicated to helping veterans. As community members saw their level of fitness improve through not only their hard work and dedication, but also from the encouragement of the group they grew confident in themselves. Several members of the workout group got involved with other endurance events such as 5Ks, 10Ks, Sprint triathlons, Crossfit, Half-Marathons, Full Marathons, Half-Ironman and Ironman triathlons. At these races they would wear the eagle and that would generate conversation. These events, particularly the 5Ks, 10Ks, and Sprint triathlons, are big at the community level since large numbers of the local community usually participate and are great for spreading the RWB vision and mission and getting local community members involved.
The end result is there are now more local community members and veterans improving their lives by participating in regular physical fitness activity, and more importantly identifying with each other as part of a great cause. Much has been written about the power of exercise and team. Here is one blog post from Psychology Today.
As I wrote in this post “Everyone starts by coming off the couch. How far they go is up to them but with a team behind them there is no limit.”
So get off the couch, get involved and start a movement. You don’t need a gym, just a space, and some basic equipment.
IT’S OUR TURN!