When Once I Am Convinced

Reprint from A Lifetime of Strength

Sometimes before I close the gym, usually at night or on a Sunday morning, I stand in front of this poster and I think about what I know, what I’m convinced of, and what’s worth hanging onto so hard I never want to let go.

Unfortunately, in the fitness industry this usually leaves me feeling like Lear’s Cordelia. (At another time we can unpack why she is the fictional character I most often identify with.) I am unwilling to say we can change your life and fix an entirety in four weeks. I’m sorry but it takes longer, and we would be dishonest to tell you otherwise. We look at the long game. It is about a lifetime of strength.

I am unwilling to say that you are brave for trying hard and making a fuss in a room where everyone else is trying hard. I’m sorry, but cancer patients are brave. First responders are brave. People who fight their fears to show up every day are brave. Working out itself is a fait accompli most of the time. When you can’t work out and you have to move, when you have to just get off the toilet without a crowd yelling hosanna in the highest…will you show up? Can you be brave then? That’s the endgame. This is a lifetime of strength. We look at everyone who walks into our gym through those lenses–how can we help you stay active and be strong and move well for 40 years, 50 years? It’s not about the workouts, it’s about the work.

I won’t place your success in the context of what the halest can achieve. It matters that you get up and down, not that you back squat or front squat. The goal is for you to load up and move your hips, not to chase someone else’s numbers. You are strong and powerful because you show up and move and listen to your coaches. This is a lifetime of strength. This is something we can build upon, always. When you allow yourself to be motivated by success and not cozened by sweat, you can win every single day.

That is what convinces me. And that’s what we won’t ever let go.

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