Last week I asked this question on Facebook: What is the WORST part of going to the gym? To my surprise, I got almost 200 comments! Wow! People sure like to tell you about what is wrong! A lot of the answers were honest and what I expected – the hardest part is getting there because once you’re there it’s easy (even when it’s hard). Some said the hardest part was the smell, which I have NO sympathy for because I have smelled all of you and NONE of you smell like a bucket of sunshine and roses. Some said the hardest part was not knowing what to do. Anyone who said that, please call or message me and I am more than happy to help – even if you don’t belong to my gym. I offer online training programs that are geared to the INDIVIDUAL, so I can address any issues such as bad knees, recovering from surgery, ora anything else. That is an easy solution. If you are interested, click here.
What really surprised me, however, was how many people thought that the WORST part of going to the gym was the people there. They complained about it being crowded because it’s January and all the “New Year New Me” people are there and not knowing the rules of the equipment and allowing people to work in and they couldn’t wait for them to get frustrated and give up.
Let me tell you a funny story – one of my clients was helping me with an insurance issue I was having and I was frustrated by how long it was taking. He said, “Ellie, the world is full of assholes and they will take advantage of you any chance they get”. I was visibly shocked and I said, “Not in my world”. You see, I live in a very special little world here in CrossFit Odyssey. In my world people of all shapes and sizes, religious and political beliefs, ethnicities, income brackets and everything else you can imagine come together to work through their struggles and get better in life. They introduce themselves, they encourage each other and they even call each other and checkup when they haven’t been seen in here in a while. He sighed and said, you know, you’re right, this place is special, you’re very lucky to live in this world.
When John and I first started this business we would sit around and talk about what we wanted it to be and that was exactly
it. We wanted it to be a place full of energy and positivity that made every single person who walked through our doors feel like they crossed a threshold into a place that changed them. No negativity, no judgment, no preconceived notions of what you should have done before trying CrossFit or what you should be able to do with your body before entering our doors. Our job was to take the weary and the scared and show them that they can. It was to teach them how to do all of the things they never thought they could do. It was to take the strong and make them stronger and encourage every single person to become everything they imagined they could become and more.
Now the one thing that John and I both realized from the very beginning was that we attracted a certain kind of person who thrived on this positivity. The people in my gym become good friends and support each other and I am always somewhat shocked at some of the bonds that are created. But part of the reason that happened, was because WE set that example and everyone else followed. Because we set out in the very beginning with the idea that we were going to establish a place where we expect people to be great – they are great.
You’ve heard the saying that our kids will rise to our expectations, right? If you expect greatness, you will get greatness. If you expect less, you will get less. Well, the same is true for most of life. If you expect to be surrounded by losers, you will be. And if you expect to be surrounded by people who are doing their best to be their best – you will be.
So MY CHALLENGE TO YOU is this: BE THE MAN or WOMAN. Next time you see someone in the gym who is struggling or who clearly doesn’t know the rules or the equipment, be the person who gives them a word of encouragement or asks if they want some help. Be the person who completely changes a person’s day with a kind word. Be the person who helps that person actually stick with and accomplish their New Year’s Resolution! And yeah, the gym might be a little bit more crowded because you helped that person out, but you never know how you might have changed that person’s entire life for the better. And you may just change yourself for the better by doing it!