I recently volunteered at a trail running race. The funny part is that I didn’t stand in one spot on the race course for four hours because I was overwhelmed with the desire to serve my fellow runners. My volunteer time came from a need to save money and not pay for another race this season, while still getting involved in a race I loved last year. I felt like I kind of owed it to the racing community.
My takeaway has been way better than the veggie burger and beer they gave me afterward. It got me been thinking a lot about community, like what it really means to me, and what is actually needed for a community to thrive.
Community, what a buzz word. Seriously, I feel a little bit lame that I’m actually writing about it and it’s importance, but that’s just it. It is so important. One of the most important things you can do with your life is get plugged into a community that in return helps give you life. It really is just give and take; you give some of your life to have more poured back.
Here at Try Hard, we believe in this idea so much that we even created this project. This whole community that is seeing some crazy fun growth, started from several of us who were college friends but now live thousands of miles apart, but wanted to stay more connected and use our wide set of skills together. A web-based project that we could all work on, even in small ways, seemed like the most fun way to stay more relevant in each other’s lives, while also pushing each other to do more and be more.
Here is what is really cool, what I’m saying is totally true and this article is the evidence of it. I like to write, but rarely do it. I can almost always think of some excuse or reason why I shouldn’t sit down and actually write. After graduating and the time before this project started, I could count on two hands the amount of things I had written aside from resumes and cover letters. Honestly, I can still make loads of excuses why I shouldn’t spend my free time writing, but now I have real reasons and deadlines to write and it’s helping me hone in a craft that I do actually care about and this community is the reason I’m actually sticking to it for more than a couple of days.
All of this said, find a community you love, and give to it. Don’t just stand on the edges looking in for an occasional positive takeaway; help give it life. If you don’t know where to start, just look around and figure out where you are spending your time and what brings joy to your life. If you love spending time on the trails, try getting involved with trail maintenance at a local climbing area or trail system you like to hike. If you go to church, try getting involved by greeting people at the door. If you love animals, spend a Saturday at an animal shelter loving on some cats and dogs that need a home. Really, it can be anything, just give some of your time and you will be shocked by the way it impacts you, plus it’s a great way to dig deeper into your community.
Still need proof that giving up some of our precious time to volunteer is in some way worth it? Let this post be the final proof you need and not just evidence that I have done something other than watch Netflix. We started musing over the idea of Try Hard a little over a year ago. The process definitely wasn’t easy. Despite a lot of confusion, misdirection, and countless hours on Google Hangouts, we are up and going because we think intentional community matters. We love that this site helps keep us in constant and purposeful communication, even when we go for six to ten months without seeing each other in person. One bonus we didn’t anticipate; we love how the platform we have created is helping connect us with all of you.
We mean it when we ask for your involvement. We’re not reaching out because we are figuring this out as we go or because we aren’t professional writers or photographers. Well, actually those things are true. But for more than helping fix our ineptitudes, we reach out because we truly believe in the community platform we have been able to fashion over the last year and it’s only going to grow if you guys let it happen. We want Try Hard to be a part of your community and your life, so join in on the fun.