Building Community Culture – Your 5 Month Window

By Barton Tanner

What a week of training! We literally had it all, from the most amazing red sunrises, to wet weather location training with no rain and then dry training mornings turning into a fun continuous boxing set where dry was not an option!!! Seriously, it is weeks like this where I realise how much I love what I do and how lucky I am to be surrounded by brilliant, motivated, inspiring people that I get to see push their boundaries at every session.


We have a big couple of months ahead of us and I can’t wait. It is the next 5 months that build our amazing culture as a group. I love the definition of culture that was once said to me; “Culture is simply defined as the way we do things around here”. This is so powerful. It is gives us complete autonomy to create what ever culture we want, simply by our actions. Before I started taking outdoor training I believed that there were so many limitations to training outside. No heavy weights, no cardio machines, differing training conditions, unstable footing, winter… Yet, it wasn’t until started working as a trainer and really started to meet my awesome team, that I realised these were (like all limitations) perceived limitations. In fact, I now present a lot to other trainers and they ask me these questions. My answer is simple – you CANNOT create what we have at an indoor location and actually the synthetic indoor training environment will always leave participants lacking both physically, philosophically and most importantly, spiritually! When I actually started out, I very quickly learned that it is the weather, training outdoors and being susceptible to the elements that builds our community.

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From this realisation I came to understand that it is the next 5 months, between April and the end of August, where our training community grows. When you look around at the people training next to you, when you come to a session and feel that buzz of the training culture, this is all built in a 5 month window. It is challenge that builds affiliation and community. I have noticed this at 2 major points in my time training with Evo – the end of Winter Warrior party. Every year at this event I sit back and just say WOW! How did we get this brilliant group of people who are genuinely invested in each other. The answer is really staring us in the face. Over the next 5 months we are going to go through something that profoundly impacts your life. If you have not trained through this 5 month window and think I am crazy, then simply ask the people who have done it before. Partner up with someone at training who has seen a couple of winters training with Evo.


The next 5 months are amazing and they are amazing because they are not easy. Every morning when the alarm goes off and it is dark, the easy option is to stay in bed, to stay comfortable. I am a big believer that one of the gravest challenges facing humanity is: “How do we fight comfort?” Listen to anyone who has achieved anything in their life. Their achievements have NEVER come from the space of comfort. They are always pushing, striving and challenging. It is the challenge that forces us to grow and connect. That is why, you never regret getting up and going to training, you always feel better for it.


We are so lucky to have the added challenge in our training of the natural environment. This morning was a great example. When we started at 6am the radar promised no rain. It was only 15min into the session when the skies opened up. But the vibe of the group lifted. There are always two choices. You can whinge and sink into the space of running to find comfort. Or you can grow, you can step up and embrace the challenge. In the cool down of the session, still hammering down with rain, no one ran off, people hung around for another 10min to chat. That connection to community and nature is where your spiritual growth happens, it is where we start to recognise and understand the purpose and beauty of being human. It is not to sit in our environmentally controlled buildings all day, never having to deal with the natural environment around us. No poet worth reading or song worth listening too has spoken about how good it was to be comfortable indoors or never taking on any challenges in life. In fact it is the challenge and discomfort that inspires art in all forms!

To finish, I have to quote the author Jack Kerouac when I say:

“Because in the end you won’t remember the time spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that god damn mountain.”

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