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The Power of Community: CrossFit and the Force of Human Connection Paperback – March 20, 2012

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...Allison reminds us that in our digitally overconnected world, we are often lonely; the book shows the remarkable effect of how sweating together, sharing challenges and goals, leads to real connection and personal growth. A remarkable and inspiring story!!"  
 John J. Ratey, MD, Harvard Medi­cal School

"..A roadmap for anyone interested in understanding why we have to create opportunities for people to matter to each other. The wonder of these pages doesn't just show us why we need to understand and care about what makes communities work, it definitively answers the question of why we can't afford not to."
Kelly Starrett DPT, SFCrossFit

"The Power of Community is a must read to help us understand what it means to be part of something that is bigger than all of us."
Mike Burgener, Captain USMCR, Retired; Senior International Weightlifting Coach CSCS; Head Coach CrossFit Olympic Lifting

About the Author

Allison Wenglin Belger received a BA from Dartmouth College, a Master's Degree from Northwestern University, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Allison and her husband are co-owners of TJ's Gym, a community of four CrossFit affiliates in Marin County, California, where they live with their two young daughters.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936608731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936608737
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Allison Wenglin Belger grew up in a suburb of New York City where she was introduced to the pleasures and rigors of training and competing in varsity sports. With her husband, TJ, Dr. Belger owns four CrossFit affiliate gyms in Northern California where she juggles management of the family business, her work as a licensed psychologist and fitness coach, and her role as mom to two young daughters. She knows first-hand the importance of community--of having a network of mutual support and human connection in the midst of our hectic, technology-driven lives. A former division-one collegiate soccer player and five-time marathoner, Allison has also been part of the outdoor adventure community. She presently trains for various elite CrossFit athletic events, competing both individually and as part of a team. Dr. Belger earned a BA from Dartmouth College, a Master's Degree from Northwestern University, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. She is passionate about telling stories of people who are making lives better through the power of community.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Edward S. Ramirez on March 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Many times I have wondered why CrossFitters have such an unusual bond. After reading Dr. Allison Wenglin Belger's book, "The Power of Community: CrossFit and The Force of Human Connection," I now have a clear understanding.

Dr. Belger's book explains through clear and concise text, the need of human beings to desire community to get them through many aspects of life. Considering that social media is quickly absorbing the world, the simple fact that people can physically share their struggles and victories through a community like CrossFit, has made an enormous difference in how several people continue to push through adversity and enhance their own lives.

Dr. Belger makes her point by drawing from her extensive education, her personal experience as an athlete, from professional studies and heartwarming stories that drive the point that we need "community" to better ourselves and others. Even though CrossFit is used to make this point, Dr. Belger's vision can easily be translated to other communities, such as the military and religion. Therefore, making this book an easy read for everybody.

Overall, "The Power of Community: CrossFit and The Force of Human Connection," is an inspirational and rewarding read. Though some of us may already feel or understand the "power," it feels great to finally have perspective and know that you are not the only one that has had this phenomenal bond to a good community. Dr. Belger hit the nail on the head with her book. CrossFitter or not, get this book and prepare to be enlightened, educated, and shown "The Power of Community."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I entered Coast Guard Reserve boot camp slightly out of shape and within a few weeks had lost 20 pounds, strengthened my body and found myself more a member of a community than the individual who arrived. 50 years later, reading Dr. Belger's book reminded me of the power of being part of a group.

Over the years, I've lived in apartment buildings that have gyms for our free use. It's amazing how easy it is not to go. It's amazing how many of us hire trainers as much to "encourage" us to show up as to teach and push.

Of course, mine is just the threshold thought.

Dr. Belger's very easy to read book is a wake up call for all of us. She not only tells us the what and why but points the way to a successful her book, it's a start.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brad Matsik on March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but maybe no real intimate buddies. Why is that and what are the costs? How can we fix this and what are the huge benefits for our physical and mental well-being in doing so? These are some of the big issues that are explored in this work, all while relating numerous real-life examples of how dissimiliar people have used the power of community, and specifically crossfit, to enrich their lives and improve their human relationships. Drawing from numerous scientific studies, sources as diverse as Francis Fukuyama, Hilary Clinton and Greg Glassman and entertaining and dramatic examples of real-life strength in crisis, this book is best viewed as a roadmap of how to become a better, stronger and more connected version of yourself. All of us face challenges, they vary in scale and type, but everyone who picks up this book will see parallels in their own life. Filled with powerful vignettes of ordinary people finding the strength in community to do extraordinary things, this book reads like a manual of how to stay personally connected to others, and the huge benefits of doing so, in the increasingly unconnected time in which we live. It skips the pandering and whiny tone of so many self-help or psychology books and gets right down to business with a series of discussions of how you can make your life richer, become better prepared to deal with adversity of all kinds and just generally get more out of life by becoming involved in a community. And if it happens to be crossfit, you will get crazy fit, stronger than you ever imagined and able to do things physically you had not dreamed possible.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By evac6 on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dr. Belger has articulated the benefits and overall importance of the phenomenon of community. She has drawn attention to the societal need for belonging by highlighting the positive sub-culture of Crossfit which has resulted in not only the obvious benefits associated with being involved with a wellness program (fitness) but also the secondary benefits of belonging with like minded people who share similar goals. By bringing people's attention to the message of community by highlighting the incredibly popular Crossfit she also shares a multitude of other programs across the country that have derived similar, positive outcomes through use of community-minded concepts. At a time when our nation is fraught with a pervasive sense of divisiveness which is exacerbated by an exploitive media and an immature, unqualified and destructive national leadership this book provides hope that our country can survive as a result of our own strengths and our own ability to coalesce into multiple positive forces that will ultimately reestablish that which originally made our nation great.
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