This has been an amazing year with Many lessons learned and many goals achieved. Many people look to the New Year with a sense of renewal and hope. Not to say that I don’t look optimistically towards 2011, but I have to say 2010 will always have a special place in my heart.
1. Following your dreams is priceless…….if you are prepared for the ride.
After years of contemplation and the experience to back the dream, starting Evolution Fitness was the best move ever. It is one thing to have a bit of experience and motivation, and an entire different scenario to take action. As my friend Dave told me before I started this…. “Danny this aint for the faint of heart”. He couldn’t have been more right. But no matter what, dreams always involve a risk. My Family is amazing and without them this would not have been even a wink of a possibility. I was falsely promised numerous opportunities over the years by employers that wanted to retain my services, yet they never came through. And for that I am GRATEFUL!!!! for I would have never really followed my dreams, but only helped fulfill theirs.
2. Know your Philosophy and follow it!
This goes beyond the fitness and health field. What is it that you believe in? I see to many gyms and companies that use a shot gun approach to business. I worked for a company once that said they were about hard core training yet they would have cardio kickboxing (which isn’t kickboxing) classes and do fun “Zumba” classes for fun. I learned this year to stick to a guiding philosophy and dancing aerobics doesn’t fit into it so you won’t see me buying into it at all. Neither will I buy into muscle confusion workouts, pilates, or Crossfit no matter how popular they become. If it works for you that is fine but it’s not what I believe in. Each decision that is made must line up with my beliefs as a professional and doing high repetition olympic lifts for time doesn’t do it for me. I may seem intolerant of other opinions at times but I can honestly stand behind what I believe in. It doesn’t matter what tool you use, kettlebell, barbell, bodyweight…. what are you doing with them and how are you programming it. As for tolerance it may have to be a lesson of 2011
I know for training these points are true to me:
- Always base a program off of human movement first
- Strength built upon healthy movement is the foundation of any program: and it doesn’t mean lifting heavy things to total exhaustion and devastation.
- Aerobics should only be supplemental, if you want to improve your aerobic capacity train anaerobically.
- High rep / low weight training is pointless and is for sissies
3.Value Your Worth
This is something I see too many crumble on. I remember years ago I was a recruiter for company that recruited high level engineers. I watched my boss work a deal when he was negotiating a salary. The conversation went back and forth and after a near agreement was made, the client tried to squeeze out another $5000. My boss stopped the conversation and said very loudly “THIS is NOT A DAMN FLEA MARKET!” I will never forget that moment and I am grateful for it. There is a difference between over pricing your services and underselling them. I have many colleagues that charge significantly less then I do and a few that charge a bit more. I had an old client recently try and price me against a competitor of mine for a better deal. Guess what, she went with the lower priced trainer, and……. I filled in her spot with someone willing to pay me what my prices are. There was a bit of fear watching $1200 walk out the door, but at the same time NOT underselling my worth was priceless. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t help someone whom is financially tight, but at the same time honoring myself as professional is key to my survival as a business. If someone wants lower quality training I am more happy to refer them to some other trainers. As for myself, I spend more in a year in continuing education than many trainers spend in their career. There is a level of service in what I bring to my clients that is hard to be found in my area and I know it.
4. Education and Constant Learning is the Key to Success
Continually growing as a professional and learning more has been key! Increasing the tools to help others progress is priceless and has helped differentiate my business from others. It has also provided me a network of awesome trainers around the country that I have been able to network with and build some great friendships with. Each time I attend a good seminar or certification I come back a renewed vigor for my career. There is nothing I can’t stand more than a trainer that buys the CEU books online and takes the fill in the blank test to submit for mandatory Continuing education units.
5. Train for a goal and have a purpose!
I have been guilty of random acts of training throughout my life, so it is hard for me to judge others that are currently making the mistakes I have made. I use to design the craziest workouts and see if I could do them. They were intense and would wreck and devastate anyone who attempted them. The fact was I had great conditioning that would be unreal until my body just broke down and my CNS was shot and severe adrenal fatigue would set in and I was in pain for a month. I did the WOD thing and found another great way to completely over train and treat my body like trash. If my purpose was to run my body into the ground then I was successful. Learning how to prioritize and program goals has been a powerful lesson.
6. Opportunity arrises out of hardship
This past June I suffered a herniated disc in my neck that brought me to my knees for over 3 months. I couldn’t train and was miserable. I woke up in pain everyday and was wondering if it would ever heal and if I would return to working out. I tried numerous anti-inflammatories, epideral shots in my neck, and saw doctor after doctor with no relief. I finally sought the services of a Naturopathic Doctor that found alternative treatment that started me on the path to healing using cold laser therapy. From that experience I have gained a new friend in Dr. Garrett Smith. We have since signed a contract and will be co-hosting a radio show together on the weekends. I am pretty sure that without that herniated disc the radio show wouldn’t have happened. Kind of funny how things work out, but now I am grateful for that painful 3 months.
7. Being a father is the important and best job in the world
Looking at my little girl being born last January was the best day of my life and every day since then has been better. Watching each of her expressions change every day, seeing her whole entire face smile, and hearing her laugh while she jumps up and down are just precious. I always knew that being a dad would be awesome, but just didn’t know how awesome until it happened. The gym, the money, and all of the other things in this world don’t matter without my family.
8. The saying ” Behind every successful man is strong woman”, is true!!
When I was at the end of patience with my last job I looked at my wife and said what should I do? She looked at me and said “baby just do your own thing, what the hell are you waiting for?” My head spun with the fact that we had a 4 month old baby to feed and the fear was overwhelming. My wife had survived a civil war in her home country when she was a teenager and her inner strength and life experience is something I will never fully be able to grasp. She would tell me how bombs would go off next to her house and the horrors of war beyond my grasp. Her living conditions didn’t have running water, heat in the snowy winter, or fresh food to eat for a couple of years. She then reminded me that starting a business would not be anywhere close to that. She didn’t have the fear, and I needed that strength to take the risk because I didn’t have it by myself.
9. Thank God Daily
I do and it has made all the difference. Period.
I am sure there are other lessons to learn and many that I did not mention. To all of you that took the time to read, thank you. I wish all of you a prosperous and blessed 2011,