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When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life. John Lennon

Early this morning my son was set to head out for a baseball tournament in Vernal. He was ready to ride down with some of his coaches and teammates, and he had everything he needed - except money for food. I had $3 on me, so I had to make a quick trip to Smith’s to grab him a few snacks and some cash.

I chose a few baseball necessities for a 12 year old, including Gatorade and sunflower seeds, and quickly made my way to the check-out. I unloaded my basket, smiled at the young man behind the cash register, and said, “Good morning. How are you?” It was the right thing to do - greet him and ask how he’s doing. But I didn’t really want to know. I was in a hurry. I didn’t know him (I’m in Smith’s A LOT - fuel points for the win! - but I don’t recall having seen this young man before.) I was just being nice. As is usually the case, I thought he would respond, as most people do, with a casual, “I’m good. How are you?”

He didn’t.

Without looking up from the chips he was scanning, he dejectedly mumbled “I’m still breathing” almost as if he wished he wasn’t. It caught me off guard. It felt like a record scratch and the music stopped. Wait. What? He’s not supposed to say that. Why didn’t he fake it like everyone else? Couldn’t he just give the generic, “I’m good.” Then we can both go about our day without another word.

How are you? It’s the question we ask and are asked on a daily basis. It’s a go-to greeting and conversation starter. It’s cordial - it’s easy. It’s non-threatening, but only because most of us don’t really give it an honest answer. Most of our answers consist of some form of “I’m good” or “I’m fine.” At the moment, it’s probably true. We may not have just been handed the keys to a new car, and we’re not in the middle of open heart surgery, so “we’re fine.” Sometimes we follow it up with other generic responses like, “I’m busy” or “I’m hanging in there.” Let’s be honest, if you’re just “hanging in there” then there is some room for improvement.Yet, we hear it and say it and move on. “Me too! See Ya!” It doesn’t have to be that way.
I’m fine. But I don’t want to be fine. I want to be better.

Several years ago, my friend and I stumbled on this idea, it was kind of a challenge we had for each other. She said her marriage was “good” but she knew it had the potential to be “great.” We both decided that we didn’t want our lives to be average, to be “good.” We wanted them to be “great.” Our marriages. Our jobs. Our kids. Our relationships. All of it.

We didn’t want to just survive. We wanted to grow, to flourish, to thrive.

This is a blog post on a fitness website, so I’m not going to get too deep or spiritual here, and I’m not going to bore you with an entire list including things like your priorities and rest.

However, I think The Beau Collective is on to something. Do I think you can grow and be “great” without working out? Of course. There is more to life than fitness.

BUT, do I think you can flourish without community? No way.

We were not meant to “do” life alone. I know this from personal experience. My “community,” my friends, make my life so much sweeter. Their encouragement, their opinions, their input, their presence - I cannot imagine life without them. Not to mention, they literally do all the stuff - driving my kids, feeding my family, supporting our family. Oh man, I would be lost without it all.

We really are “better together.”

If you are feeling alone or unknown, or if you’re fine - but you’re not, please know that you have a community of people behind you. We have always said this is about more than fitness. If you are like the guy at Smith’s and “still breathing,” please know that there is something better. You are one of us, and we are so glad you are here.

If you or your marriage, job, relationships...are good. Then think of a way you and those things could be better - and do it!

As we head into Week 2 of our Summer Session, How are you? Really.