When a young Matt Wilpers moved to Manhattan for his first job out of school, he was not optimistic about finding a fitness community quite like what he’d had back home in rural Georgia: ‘I grew up mountain biking with my mom and sister and eventually decided to pursue running in college. I ran Division I cross-country and Track for Georgia State University.’ New York City is known for a lot of things, but mountains and country aren’t among them.
After getting his bearings in the concrete jungle, Matt headed to Central Park for an early morning workout outside: ‘Everyone was there - people running, riding bikes, participating in boot camps. I suddenly felt like I could do the New York thing. I had found my people.’
Build Your Community With Outdoor Workouts
Just like Matt Wilpers, many of us find ourselves in new places in life without the fitness communities from home, school, or our younger days. About 45% of us live at least an hour away from close family, especially folks with more education and/or income (1). New degrees and job opportunities open countless doors, but they don’t show up to the track with you at 6AM.
Get Active Outside: Workout Clubs and Groups
So make like Matt and find your local watering hole for fitness, IRL. What is the Central Park where you live? Chances are you’ll run into some like-minded athletes with whom you can build fitness and community. Here are some of our tips:
- Visit a green space, community track, or public pool, and keep your eyes peeled for workout groups training together or schedules for Masters (post-collegiate) team sessions.
- Check out the local bike or running shop, and ask about community rides/runs.
- Put your social media addiction to use: Search for athletic communities near you on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, or, better yet, focus on an app like Meetup or Strava to see when and where there are outdoor fitness activities to join.
- If you can’t find an established fitness club, build your own outdoor workout group, ask your co-worker or neighbor for a recommendation on how get active outside.
Our 2023 Fall Alps Challenge Giveaway
Just like Matt Wilpers and his fellow cyclists, we at Oars + Alps encourage you to Connect your Crew. Stay tuned to our emails and socials for tips from Matt to build your fitness community and for a chance to win some fabulous prizes. We’ll be raffling off:
- A private, personalized coaching session from the phenomenal coaches at Team Wilpers who will take you to the next level in your activity of choice (cycling, running, swimming, strength or triathlon)
- 3 Oars + Alps kits that feature Matt's favorite skincare routines
Head on over to Oars + Alps' Instagram to find out how to enter on our #ConnectYourCrew posts each Sunday of this month.
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