We’re almost a month through the Modern Savage Challenge. If you’ve been following along you’ve probably noticed I don’t provide a lot of structure or specific instructions for this challenge and for good reason. This opportunity to change is all about you. Re-ordering your life is not something I can do for you, you have to want it from deep within; it has to be an all-consuming passion that burns like fire filling your waking thoughts and keeping you up at night.
All too often in my career as a trainer I’ve dealt with clients who think they want change but in reality they don’t. What they want is a quick answer and an easy solution. They’re not interested in working for it, or sweating through it. If it involves sacrifice and discomfort they quickly turn tail and run the other way. You can identify these people by their frequent excuses and absences from the training facility. You cannot be this way if you ever hope to accomplish anything lasting and permanent in life.
I told you all in the beginning that I would provide a direction but it was up to you to follow it. Furthering that example I left my position at a local facility this past week. Staying there wouldn’t have been in keeping with the philosophy I preach to all of you; it would have made me as fake as those who prescribe a workout to customers that they themselves cannot complete. I tell you all not to settle for less than what you want and to stay true to your goals and principles no matter what the cost. What kind of man would I be if I did not epitomize those same truths in my own life?
There are those who will tell you that kissing ass and allowing the pampered and privileged to treat you like dirt is a necessary evil; or just good business. I counter that such thinking is a lie told by the weak and fearful to excuse their cowardice and lack of character. Any man who compromises his integrity, passion, and principle for profit is a fraud and a prostitute. It takes back bone to do what you know is right and best when it makes you unpopular. In the end people respect those who do not bullshit them and give them the truth not another stream of platitudes and fake pleasantries meant to soothe them and “keep them coming back”
I’ve learned a simple truth in the past 12 years I’ve been training people. If you refuse to compromise on your intensity and methods at the expense of a few spoiled bad apples then it pays off big in the end. Serious people seek out others of a serious mindset and once word gets out that you accept no bullshit from clients and tolerate only the serious and dedicated the serious and dedicated seek you out. They do so because they abhor drama as much as you. No one dedicated to a healthy lifestyle wants to be around a bunch of whiny, complaining, lazy people. These people give off negativity like a smell and it pulls all those around them down.
The fitness industry is suffering from a lack of real leadership these days. Too many owners and operators live by a motto of money first and at all costs. I’m not ignorant of the reality of business and that it takes money and profit to keep running. I also say that everyone is entitled to make money, live well, and have the things in life they enjoy and want. Should we not all be rewarded for our hard work and labors; yes we should. I counter though that there is another business model to follow, called quality and people first and the profit follows. We need to be building relationships with people not key cards to scan in.
To the point, I never thought I’d get rich doing what I do. I felt though that people needed help sorting through the bullshit myths and schemes about eating and exercise. More importantly I believe that those who need help the most are the very people who cannot afford personal training and 300 dollar a month gym dues. Why has the industry become one catering to the wealthy while ignoring the masses? Too many trainers I know look down their nose at people who live under the BMW income bracket. Maybe it’s because I grew-up impoverished in government housing or because of my work with inmates in Tennessee, but I think people deserve an opportunity to change and access to fitness regardless of who they know or how big their bank account is.
So with January almost gone I hope you’ve made strides to change your life and take control. Remember the saying from the movie “Kingdom of Heaven” and make it part of your life; “What kind of man does not make the world a better place?” We need leaders today, not just warriors and bad-asses. No matter how young or old you are you can be a leader to those around you. Let your life and body be an example of what is possible. Encourage others in their pursuits but suffer no excuses from those who hide from change. I’m not advocating that you judge them or treat them harshly and with disdain, however these people who have been lied to and coddled throughout life need to learn that the world does not cater to them or their delusions, and neither do you. If you want to motivate them show them that despite what the liars tell them; change is possible and achievable to those willing to work for it. You cannot help anyone until you mater yourself and your life.