The Power of Belonging

images“Norm!!!”

Who doesn’t remember watching ‘Cheers’ and seeing Norm Peterson walk through the door as the regulars shout out his name?  He always had a one liner to go along with his entrance, but more than anything – Norm belonged.

When I first started going to the Eden Prairie Lifetime – I felt like a fish out of water.  It wasn’t my “place”.  I felt a little lost and wasn’t sure what to do. I looked around and all I saw was a sea of strangers.

After a few weeks I began to connect, but in order to do so I had to step out of my comfort zone.  I found a trainer.  I attended some classes.  I started talking to the staff and remember their names.  I found that I tend to go there about the same time each day, and so do many others.  I asked them their names.  I remembered them.

Now when I go to the club, Doug is there to welcome me.  I see Tony on the treadmill taking to his buddies.  I see Chris and Kirk, the trainers. I look for Jeani. I go to Gary’s classes and I know Kate will be there. I see familiar faces all over the place.

Today I walked into the locker room and I heard “Theresa!!!”  I turned around to see Beth, the Pilates instructor across the room.  It felt great to hear my name.  I no longer see strangers – I see potential friends.  As you begin a new routine, whether it’s walking through your neighborhood or going to a new health club – step out of your comfort zone and say “hello” to someone new everyday.

You will soon have people who you look forward to seeing each day and they will look forward to seeing you.  You will connect.  You will belong.

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