Written by Alan Tran
Published on Wednesday, 06 January 2010

This was going to be an e-mail going to a particular bunch of people that I feel have had a hand in the community at some point but I decided to publish it openly for the blog. With some time spent away from the website, I’ve been questioning my methods and ability to run the community while trying to pinpoint where I may have possibly faulted. All in short, it doesn’t matter as that’s past and we’ve entered a new and hopefully to be great year for our little community.

As you all know, for the past eighteen months, we’ve seen numbers drop online and offline. Over the past year, I’ve asked a number of people for their opinions and possible solutions to the ordeal. Duncan wanted to take out negativity, I wanted to bring in positivity, Tony wanted water slides; nothing stood out. I had a short talk with Zac Cohn (Happydud) earlier and it all clicked. At the moment, what stemmed from that conversation is a bit cloudy but I can see where it can and will lead to with work.

There is no one solution. Between us all posting and with those training, we are a community regardless of the ups and downs. We are the very foundation of what has been built and what can be expanded upon. Whether or not it’s a slow or fast, easy or hard process, we’re in it together and we’ve been at it for some time.

With that said, I’d like to let you know that you are all role models online and offline and you all have a responsibility whether you know it or not. You can share what you have with others, experience their ups and downs in movement, and be great friends. The Raleigh guys and a few others got too caught up in training that we forgot that having fun is just as important as pull-ups. We pushed our methods of training onto others when it wasn’t necessarily warranted. Why did many of us start the practice of movement? It was something fresh, new, and exciting – it was different in the way a sport or discipline or “insert a label here” approached the use of the human body. Raleigh pushed structure onto people who may not have been ready for something organized in terms of exercise.

Let’s go back to having fun as an integral part of our community and exercise. Those who are going to be determined in learning more, improving, and putting in the work will find those who willing to give them a hand. Those individuals, like many of us before, need time to explore for themselves what movement is before committing to serious business. Only until then can we show them what it may offer and how it may help them. I know that I’ve personally passed judgment quickly on several people and didn’t give them the time of day to explore what I deemed dumb. Sometimes their mistakes will lead to clarity on many of the things we emphasize – safety, conditioning, etc.

Many of us had to work together to build the community, we didn’t enter into something developing. Newer members need to understand what it means to be part of a community and what it means to contribute. A family may not enjoy the presence of a particular member but he is still invited to the table for dinner at the end of the day.

You are all leaders in different ways and I’m asking you to help rebuild this community. Whether it’s taking five minutes to respond to a forum post, two hours to help an individual learn a movement, or hosting a comrade of movement for a few nights, MORE needs to be done by us all. Tony Nguyen hosted Nick Hopscotch the other day, Steven and Cliff lead the Charlotte community, and Duncan welcomes many of us with his mat sessions. All of these guys share without asking for anything. Step up, contribute to the website, continue to post on the forums, discuss and share movement. As a community, every person’s input is equal – every time an individual shows up for a state jam, posts on the forum, meets up and trains with his friends, he is making a difference. We’ve pushed “proper” training but never did we push the idea that every single individual can share just as much Duncan, Steven, or Ben has.

People are going to out there practicing regardless of who is and isn’t, many of them are going to be misguided, and many are going to quit but every single one of them needs a hand, some attachment to this community. Now this doesn’t have to be online but with encouragement and nurture, they can understand what it means to be part of an online community. We need Snow, Felix, Andy, etc just as much as we need Jeremy, Tyler, or Aaron.

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Cheers and happy new year,

Alan yo friend