This article was written by Vanessa Palestino, VP of Business Development at Upper Hand.
We hear it all of the time. A strong sense of community is a game-changing, powerful, and sometimes, life-saving thing.
It is built into our human DNA to feel a strong sense of support and belonging. The sports and fitness community is no exception.
The anecdotes that we take with us from a day at the gym or batting practice, the banging new running playlist a friend shares on Spotify, and of course, that sprint out of the saddle for 10 seconds longer than yesterday in your Peloton class, are the fibers that have stood the test of time, evolution and even a global pandemic.
These fibers are the fuel that feeds the drive, teamwork, and goal-crushing in the sports and fitness community. And it’s the reason that we keep coming back for more.
We experienced the agility of our community unlike ever before last year. Endless social media posts, articles and news interviews with sports and fitness gurus conferring with one another on the industry shifts kept us eagerly tuned in.
Creating safe and effective ways to stay connected to loyal followings and in the process, create new ones, became the focal point for almost every studio, training facility and gym.
Before you could blink, fitness equipment was sold out online and at stores across the world. I can recall that the only four-pound set of weights that I did find online cost upwards of $50 and then never actually made it to my doorstep. Peloton couldn’t crank out enough bikes to keep up with demand, and pretty much every fitness professional was swift to launch some sort of digital platform to keep us connected and moving.
Before we knew it, professional athletes were sharing their “club quarantine” training routines on social media and the fitness instructors’ classes who we attended religiously three to four times per week were now kicking our butts from the other side of a Zoom call. The sports and fitness world that we knew came to a grinding halt but in the same breath, a crisp, new kind of connection quickly installed itself.
That sense of community never actually wavered. It looked different. But it stuck.
It is clear that the sports and fitness community can and will continue to overcome tiny rumbles and grand earthquakes. It’s been talked about, written about, Tweeted and TikToked about a million times over. Last year and even 2021, have been absolute bananas for an industry that has predominantly thrived thanks to front-facing interactions. And while we as consumers all went on an emotional rollercoaster during the biggest transition in our industry’s history, we rode it together.
The fight, friendships, core values and hunger to be the best version of ourselves make the perfect recipe for an unceasing, stronger-than-ever community and hope that together, we’ve got this!
Every day at Upper Hand, we do our very best to heed the advice of our industry and listen, so that we can bring each decision back to our why: to show up every day in the service of the sports and fitness community.