If you have been to see me recently, I’ve probably described to you this amazing carrot cake croissant that I devoured at the Uraidla Bakery. I did a pretty big ride to get there, and I would have exerted myself twice over if I knew how good the reward was going to be.
I think the health and fitness industry has got their messaging so wrong – skinny is portrayed as the pinnacle of happiness. And the only way to get there is through exertion, discipline, and denial of pleasure. It is a lie!
I have made this mistake in my own fitness journey. If I knew that I could eat pastries and be fit, I would have started sooner!
If you think that where I am heading is about a new pastry driven diet plan, sadly this is not a real thing. It is not paleo, it is not vegan, it is not keto. But the croissant is important in this story, but not for the reasons you may think.
I do believe that we deserve rewards. Our brains are hard wired to respond to rewards. Rewards do not need to be sweet treats, nor do they need to be shopping sprees. Depending on your love language, a reward could be the kind words from a person you trust or doing “the thing” you have always wanted to do. And of course, it could be – “I’ve cycled up a mountain, of course I deserve a croissant.” We need rewards as a celebration of achievement.
But the croissant represents something to me. It’s actually the secret sauce of being a good human and for doing great things.
My cycling friend constantly reminds be that the reason we cycle is for the coffee stop. The activity of moving legs up and down while wearing lycra, and feet strapped to pedals, it is the mechanism and can be quite solitary. But at the coffee stop – with lashings of caffeine, brownie and whipped cream comes the conversation, and more importantly the community.
Ah! Community. The secret sauce to human betterment. Community: common, public, shared by all or many. You have something in common, and you share it.
Community = Conversation. Community = encouragement. Community = feeling like you belong. Community = feeling like you are contributing to something more than just yourself. Your herd is on the journey with you. Contributing to you being a better person.
The cycling is just a mechanism. The croissant and the coffee are merely facilitators. What makes a difference, the part that helps you turn up each day is the community.
It’s why groups like Running Mums Australia is so successful. And it’s why local fitness businesses near to me fitness Strength Lab, Nourish and Flourish and Sharp Fitness and Pilates played an important physical and mental health role over the last 18 months of COVID imapacts. They created a community that people wanted to be a part of. Come for the health goal, stay because you found your herd.
So what is the pinnacle of happiness in health and wellness? It is community. You are more likely to achieve your goals, whatever they are when you have a supportive community around you.
And while you are at it; go on and enjoy that croissant.