New Year’s Message to My Collegues

It’s that time of year in the fitness world. New Years Resolutioners are slogging it out to the gyms and fitness facilities don’t even need a sales staff; they can just leave blank contracts on the front desk and let people sign themselves up.

It’s about as much support and assistance as they are going to get for the rest of the year anyway…but I digress.

As I was training a few clients the other day I suddenly had an epiphany that I felt needed to be shared with the fitness world at large.

‘Tis the season.

The fitness season.

This time of year I think fitness professionals lose their focus – lose their direction – lose the WHY – of what this season is all about. Gyms are packed, new clients abound, classes fill up and waiting lists burst binders.

And while we are an altruistic group – generally speaking – we as fitness professionals get caught up in the spirit of the season. It’s like Christmas for us! The aspects most trainers, coaches, and instructors hate – sales, marketing, contracts etc. – are essentially taken care of for us (more like bobbing for apples then hunting for food).

In the fitness industry the Christmas season is full throttle. Sign up clients, get contracts, work for referrals, start new programs and max out capacity. There isn’t much room for anything else.

Watch the bulging little eyes of the salivating fitness staff just about anywhere.
And this is when I think we forget who we are and what we do.

To be fair, this is an issue I think is truly apparent ALL YEAR but this season seems to really highlight it. As I was standing listening to a couple of clients it really struck home with me.

Why are we fitness professionals? Do we ever really sit back and ask ourselves this? Or has it all become a business, numbers, income, sessions, packages, roll calls, heads in class?

Yes, we all have a couple people with great results; those few shining stars who you have helped to great success. I don’t want to be inundated by comments saying, ‘well what about Joe,” “Sara had her best year ever.” Yes, there are always individual examples, we all have those. I am not talking about that. Let’s all just take a second and step back.

We can get so bogged down in the day to day worrying about the business. We stress so much when our clients have one ‘off’ meal or perhaps skip a workout or two. We expect perfection all the time, we expect our clients to love this as much as we do.

We all know the mundane day to day stuff I am talking about. And we get so lost in it. I think we forget to step back every single day and think about why it is we do what we do.

Step back and think about what we really do. I mean really think about it. Not just the generic, “I like to help people,” rhetoric most fitness people love to throw around.

We change lives. Sure, that might include building a washboard stomach and dropping dress sizes, but the important thing to focus on is we change lives.

We watch people become more confident. We see them enjoy life more. We watch them start to travel and enjoy life. Successful clients start trying to do things they have never tried before and they love it. They change careers and they get job promotions.

The success we facilitate makes people love themselves. We change lives not just physically, but in every aspect of what makes people love themselves. We help people wake up in the morning and love themselves. Love being them. Love being alive. There is nothing greater we can do for any people. We make peoples’ lives better.

So this January, I want you to step back and think about that. Think about why we really do what we do.

Just for a few minutes every day don’t think about strategies to commit people to their diets, how to decrease their blood pressure or the fancy new program that you can’t wait to unleash. Forget about the marketing strategy and ignore the sales pressure. Let go of the anger in the overly packed gym you are trying to snag a bench and a dumbbell in. Forget about the other fitness people spewing out advice. Let go of the Internet debates and controversy. Don’t stress over which debate on proper squat form has the best evidence or makes the most sense to you. Try to stop strategizing about how to afford that new revolutionary piece of fitness equipment you have to have.

Step back.

Remember why we do this. Every single day find someplace quiet or put on some headphones with your favorite track and focus on it.

We make peoples’ live better; every aspect of it. We help people live their life. Love themselves, their family, their friends, and everyone else in their lives.
Why do we do this? For that small smile on our clients lips when they realize that they are happy and they can’t wait to wake up in the morning and see what their future holds.

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