Connection despite social disconnection, a perspective from Last Man Standing
Although the lockdown has been particularly difficult, there are positives coming out of it that are hard to ignore. The most obvious one being the community sticking together, staying at home and doing what they can to help fight the spread. Moreover, we are seeing people becoming increasingly connected through the social disconnect, as counter-intuitive as this may sound. We are sharing our daily lives, our homes and our families through virtual meetings both professionally and socially. We are posting our workouts, mobility routines and creative attempts to stay active which has been inspirational and we’ve seen an increase in the amount of people interested in keeping a fit lifestyle. The Last Man Standing Home Series has been particularly fortunate to see the increase of people pursuing a fit life from the inside. Subsequently, the growth has been way more than a couple of people interested in working out for a couple of minutes a day. Interestingly, the growth has been towards community-building and connectedness for people from all walks of life, motivating and supporting each other to be their best. We truly have seen community in action, which is a core principle of Last Man Standing.
Over the past couple of weeks Last Man Standing has seen what community in action actually means, and not only to the functional fitness community but to a larger group of South Africans, focusing on their physical and mental growth. The Last Man Standing Home Series started out with the aim to bring people together through non-competitive fitness, and a few weeks into the series the results of this are overwhelming. We have seen people from across the country, coming from all walks of life joining the series, encourage each other and building the fitness community. One thing that has stood out in particular has been the support from local gyms and functional fitness boxes. The selfless support, the creativity and the dedication to growing the fitness community has been humbling. We have coaches tirelessly uploading encouraging messages to participating members and the extended community. We have seen competitors motivating each other from the sidelines and we have seen families unite by completing workouts together. This challenge has not been about ego, ability or getting that competitive edge above one another whether it be through workouts or even fellow functional fitness event hosts. Instead it has seen competitors in the field and fellow events coordinators supporting each other, coming together to brainstorm and build not only the sport but the active community in South Africa.
We are excited to see how this series progresses as we come closer to the end of lockdown. We are hoping that this community-building, connected aspect of fitness will continue to grow and people will put their differences aside and work together to bring the best out of the South African active community.