Fitness Communities: Whaddya Think?

By Crabby McSlacker

Photo: German Federal Archives via wikimedia commons.
So, yeah--these may well be fit and happy Nazis.

In case you were hoping this a post might be a thorough round-up of all the new interactive apps and websites that encourage people to become part of a healthy community:  um, sorry, no.  At least not yet. That would take a lot of work, and the brand new Cranky Fitness Research department is not quite open for business yet.

This post, when I eventually get to the point, is mostly a follow up to the "help wanted" plea of a couple weeks ago, and an update on some forthcoming blog changes! For all (none) of you out there who are dying of curiosity.

Because one of my sneaky schemes for 2014 is to try to make this blog more of a "community" site and not just one middle-aged grouchy blogger prattling on to herself about health and fitness annoyances. (Not that I plan to stop that any time soon.)

But meanwhile...

Why Grouchy Loners Like Me Tend to Hate "Communities"

If you are a Cheerful People Person, you may find yourself perplexed by the grouchy loners you encounter, and wonder why they are always so whiny and reluctant when it comes to group endeavors.

I can’t speak for all of us, but for me, even the word “community” has a slightly depressing sound.

A “community center,” in my mind, is going to housed in a drab institutional building adorned with one of those earnest but sloppy murals painted by someone’s second grade class, featuring freakishly misshapen and oddly colored citizens of all nations. And on the inside, even worse--people will be doing wholesome things, like weaving baskets or raising funds for worthy causes or sitting in circles holding hands and sharing. (Shiver).

I would generally rather avoid all that. I tend to assume that my own plans and goals and priorities and ideas will be a much better fit for me than anyone else's.  And the phrase "group dynamics?" That tends to sound a lot like "clusterfuck" to these cranky ears.

Anyone else skeptical of the notion that large groups of people are more "fun" than small ones?


And yet...

I love the Community I've met through Cranky Fitness!

Cranky commenters are, seriously, the nicest in the world. And bonus: they are generally clever and amusing and thoughtful. I've also met and admired and even voluntarily interacted with many other great health blogs and websites that I've met through Cranky Fitness.  It's very unexpected and weird for a misanthropic loner like me to have such a positive experience.  But heck, why not build on it a little?

I've already been incredibly lucky to assemble an awesome Team Cranky who will be helping both with blog posting and behind the scenes activities.  I will be introducing you to them soon! But I'm also hoping to involve readers and other bloggers a little more as well, especially those of you who were kind enough to offer to contribute after that last post.

Guest Contributions of Various Sorts

I often get requests from strangers offering up guest posts and I pretty much always turn these down.  Most of them sound kinda boring and are mainly an attempt to drive traffic to commercial sites and who needs that?

But if you are a regular reader and at least an occasional commenter here, or if you are Cranky-Friendly blogger yourself, the there is a total Double Standard and you are most encouraged to introduce your Fine Fitness Writing to the Cranky Community.

Sorry, strangers, hope that doesn't annoy you too much!

photo: Kheelcenter

Just send me an email if you've got something or are curious about what might make a good post, and we'll talk!

But some ideas are:

  • Posts with a lot of Research or Expert knowledge behind them
  • Helpful Exercise or Cooking How-To's with Pictures or Video
  • Recipes
  • Funny Tales from the Trenches
  • Lots of Other Things Too Probably That I Can't Think of Right Now

Warning: use of photos you don't own is tricky; Cranky Fitness does not want to be sued by the Greedy Getty empire or others so we'll need to talk about what's ok and what isn't.

More Helpful Links and Interviews

I'm hoping that with the help of Team Cranky we can "get out" more and bring you more interesting links and interviews with other sites and writers.  If you are a health blogger and have an article you especially want us to know about, feel free to email or leave a comment and we'll check it out!

And if you happen to link to Cranky Fitness, don't be shy, let us know!  It is most appreciated and we don't want to miss it.

Monthly Support Hang-Outs

When there are more blog posts, it stands to reason there will probably be fewer comments per post. So I'd like to encourage the "regulars" who like the back-and-forth sort of experience to drop by every hour on the hour all week long  in particular for the monthly support and check-in posts (January's is coming soon).  I decided to continue these for 2014, and will try to stay Old School and reply to most all noncommercial comments on these posts and encourage others to as well.

But even if there are more posts, I will always read every comment on every post and will try to keep replying often.  (Especially on Mondays, although today I'm on the road back home from the holidays so it may be a bit sporadic).  Reader comments are my favorite thing about blogging!

More Places to Find the Cranky

I'm going to be getting some much needed help with social media soon, thank god, since I suck so badly at remembering to do it. So for those of you who like to tweet, Facebook, google plus, etc, there will be Crankiness of various sorts coming other places besides the blog, yay!

Note: there are many more blog changes I fantasize about, and you will be no doubt hearing about them. But another one of my hopes in the new year is that I will learn how to END a blog post eventually and then perhaps later, a start a whole brand new one.

How about you--are you a "Community" type Perky People Person, or more of a Loner?  Or do you have any ideas for what you'd like to see added to the blog? We'd love to hear some input! 

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