Just after Thanksgiving, I read a super interesting article in the New York Times that made me rethink the way I gather with some of my very best friends: my running buddies.
The article, When Some Turn to Church, Others Go to Crossfit, discussed the ways in which members of modern society fill societal gaps that used to be associated with church by other groups such as Crossfit.
“CrossFit is family, laughter, love and community,” Ms. (Ali) Huberlie told the researchers, who quoted her in their study, “How We Gather.” “I can’t imagine my life without the people I’ve met through it.”
And while I’ve never done Crossfit, I can completely see this as something that happens with the trail running group I’ve been a part of since 2009. Almost every week for more than six years, I’ve gotten together with the same core group to run. We talk about our lives, get stress off our chests, tell stories, brag about our families, provide an ear for those in need, bring each other treats, go out to dinner, snag drinks, bake cookies (party!), and, of course find great pleasure in our weekly gathering for miles of fun.
Moreover, this description of how the members treat each other was particularly striking to me:
Skeptics might scoff that CrossFit is just a gym. But in an interview this week, Mr. (Greg) Glassman said that for many participants it is obviously much more.
“Down the road,” Mr. Glassman said, the core CrossFit values — which he defined as accountability, community and personal transformation — will “translate into, ‘I’m going to take my Camry into the Toyota dealer tomorrow, and will someone from the gym pick me up?’ And of course they will. ‘I’m going to move — will people from the gym help me?’ Of course they will.”
I wouldn’t say my running group is a church, but I’d say it definitely has elements of being that important, frequent gathering I can’t imagine living without.
Do you have a consistent gathering that is crucial to your daily life?