At LA PALESTRA, we believe community is based upon these basic elements:
1) A Place
2) A common experience or pursuit, and
3) A set of standards which we live by
Each of these elements is woven into the day to day interactions, and the very fabric, of our facilities and staff. Forbidding comments on the appearance of others creates a standard for behavior that promotes a feeling of safety, so that no one feels as though they are being observed and judged by their appearance. Rewards and praise are given to those who are the most consistent and who try the hardest, regardless of their total performance values. We emphasize the fact that regardless of the weight lifted or time of completion, it is EFFORT alone that determines who will challenge themselves, who will become better, who will grow from it, and who will, in the end, feel satisfied.
It is this set of standards that allows people to feel Safe and to be who they are. It allows them to share the common experience of being challenged to achieve their OWN capacities whether that is 1 push up or 100, and therefore develop a bond over what is being asked of them, not only because it is the same thing, but because it is fair and places no favoritism on either the over achiever or the squeaky wheel. No one is excluded either by their talent or by their afflictions from being asked to perform at their own highest level of effort, and thus a 30 year old and a 60 year old may take the same exercise class, both achieve positive results, and have a common experience.
A sense of real community has suffered over time due to a lack of human connection encouraged by advances in technology and social media, but through LA PALESTRA's lectures, programs and events, we allow individuals to be a part of something greater than their selves: A community dedicated to the pursuit of common goals. This is a concept that we believe is necessary to support both growth and improvement, and which ultimately makes life more meaningful.