A big part of mental health is finding your tribe.
I remember multi-medalist in Olympic swimming, Anita Nall- Richesson, saying at our opening event back last November: “I feel like I’ve found my tribe…& it’s not because many of us are athletes. It’s because we’ve all been through challenges & we’re all willing to be vulnerable with each other in sharing those challenges to heal ourselves & others.”
Tonight I’m at the Nassau Coliseum to see the Islanders take on one of their long-time rivals – the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Coliseum is an old building, home to the franchise since the 70’s. It’s been since April 2015 that the Islanders have been back to play at what we call this “Old Barn.”
Although the team has been basically renting space at a “new arena” the past few years (Barclays Center in Brooklyn) & it appears as though they will building a new arena nearby in Long Island, the fans – the hardcore fans – essentially forced the hand of the organization & the NHL to have half this season’s home games – 20ish, at the Old. Barn. The fans miss the camaraderie, the togetherness, the joy of rooting together w the traditions.
At the Coliseum, there is only one main entrance for cars creating a major traffic jam as we pull up. There is only one concourse for both levels. The bathrooms lines wrap for football fields down. There are only a few concession stands. The Jumbotron looks like a 20” TV compared to most stadiums & arenas in 2018. And the only “luxury seats” are the old school sky boxes affixed to the top of the arena, resembling 10×10 jail cells. The rest of the seats are all ON TOP of the ice traditional seats, way too close together for “comfort.”
But you know what? It’s home. It’s community. And the fans who come to these games wouldn’t want to watch a game anywhere else.
Why do I bring this up? There’s something about feeling like you’re “home.” Being surrounded by people you love &/or connect with & feel literally a part of. The camaraderie trumps any new amenities or perks or bells & whistles you may find elsewhere. This goes wayyyyy beyond sports. It extends to most facets of life. Deciding on leaving a job…moving to a new neighborhood…changing schools. Find your tribe. That’s how you’ll find your happiness. And I hope as we grow this community, you are finding yourself feeling part of this tribe right here.