Not many things bring me greater joy than watching others converse. Seeing people happy through connecting with others is something I like to sit back and watch. I don't know if this is because I have read the effects of isolation and its contribution to emotional disorders like depression, or if I simply enjoy playing a small role in their social bonding. Whatever the reason, when I see moments of genuine, authentic companionship, I do my best to allow these moments to last as long as possible.
In my profession as a teacher at Clark College, I see bonds being made in my classes around weeks two and three, so by weeks five and six students know one another pretty well. By mid-quarter, students know each other pretty well, so when I hear discussions at the start of class, allowing them to continue their conversations well into the lecture hour is a common, strategic practice. Again, this is because of the significance of social bonding among social creatures. At a community college, where there are no dormitories, fraternities, sororities, or large social engagements, cultivating an environment conducive to talking/sharing is both important and POWERFUL for a students development and future.
In cross-training, I have noticed this sort of bonding happening more and more frequently. As a group, we are now hitting a nice stride which includes support and genuine love and friendship between one another. This is beyond cool! For example, the picture taken at the gym is from last week, 10-15 minutes after our final lunges and cool-down. It's not like these athletes don't have obligations, things to do, and important priorities at home. This group simply enjoys one another and they all have a common interest, which extends well beyond running and cross-training.
Individually, these champions want to be better moms and dads, better daughters and sons, the best employees, better citizens, less stressed, happier to be around, feel better physically and emotionally, supported, normal, different, unique, progressive thinkers, pushed, challenged, lead, empowered, and the list goes on. No matter their need or what they seek, my hope is that each one of them finds their purpose, their goals, and their true happiness through the achievement of the once-thought impossible.
This truly is what it's all about.