This week, I'm feeling inspired by the communities which surround the things that I do. I value my alone time just as much as anyone, and I'm certainly an above-average homebody, but there's something special about the support that comes from a communal experience.
First, I'll talk fitness, then I'll get to the fiber. On Thursday I did my first group run. Because my company is sponsoring the marathon for which I am training, the activity center has been organizing various talks, trainings, and things of that nature. I ran about five miles over my lunch break with a few other folks, and even though I was staring at their backs the whole time, it still felt different than when I'm just running in my neighborhood.
Actually, it was different, because in trying to keep pace with them, I ran my fastest mile. And just knowing that a few more people know about my goals makes me feel even more committed to them. I'll try to bring that to mind as I run six miles (my longest yet) tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to join them for future runs, but it's always tough to carve time out of the middle of the day. I know I'm touting the benefits of getting together with people, but how many meetings does one person need?
Having run with a group, now I'm crawling with one. Yarn Crawling, that is. My mom and I travelled more than 240 miles today and hit six yarn stores, plus one fiber artist studio. We won't mention a number of dollars spent. What's important is that along the way we not only reconnected with our favorite store owners, but also with fellow Crawlers. Coming from all over the hill country and even beyond, there's still often a common flow from store to store, and you start to build a rapport as you pet the pretty yarns. It's comforting somehow during the Crawl to be surrounded by so many crafty people.
And that comfort can even be felt in cyberspace. I know I wouldn't be the knitter I am today without Ravelry. Posting in the forums is what I do most on this great invention of the internet. And the group crafting has been the driving force for me improving and adding to my repertoire of skills. Without swaps and knitalongs like Ravellenics, I wouldn't have tried half of the projects on my page. If it wasn't for Tour de Fleece, I might not have a single completed handspun skein to my name. Heck, if it wasn't for Ravelry, I wouldn't have a wheel right now. It's a powerful thing when the camaraderie formed over online craft talk will 'earn' you the inheritance of a training wheel.
And then, of course, there's all of you. Group hug, bloggers and readers!
Okay, that's my motivational speech for the month. For more inspiration this week, go to Woolen Diversions.