Humans have various basic needs that need to be met to thrive and nurture a wholesome, fulfilling life. These include the obvious – such as food, water, air to breathe, and a sense of home.
But one need that can be overlooked is a sense of belonging – a sense of community. Being part of a positive community provides vital connections and engagement with like-minded people and helps to ensure our safety and emotional wellbeing. It also helps us build resilience to help us better deal with what life throws our way.
For some, however, this sense of community can be lacking, or even misplaced. Successful personal trainer, Cody Ayala knows this from firsthand experience.
In his own words, Cody had a “rough upbringing’. He was hanging out with the wrong people and making the wrong choices. Recognizing that his life wasn’t heading in the right direction, he knew it was time to change.
Cody then decided to become part of the fitness community to allow him to take charge of his life and redefine his future, which until then, had been defined in a very different way.
He discovered that the fitness crowd is a positive community, they build each other up and support each other like nothing he’d known before.
Once he had the first bite, Cody decided to begin big – by running a marathon in 2011. He ran in memory of his mother and found that training with a purpose made it even more rewarding.
This spurred him on, and for six months he trained and “figured it all out for himself”.
Cody met some amazing people along the way but he also had some pretty major setbacks – including an avalanche that “happened so quickly, at one point I thought I was dead”.
Thankfully a dramatic air rescue saved his life but his recovery was a long journey. Not one to be ruled by the negatives, however, this experience gave him even more reason to be grateful for his health and fitness.
Cody’s mission is now to pay it forward and plans to join the army – something he recognizes won’t be easy, but is also something that he’s been preparing for his whole life. “I gotta go save some lives,” he says.
And it’s all down to the importance of community helping him build resilience, in Cody’s case, through fitness. We wish you all the best Cody!