Why We Do What We Do

It’s been about a year since we moved into our newer, bigger, much shinier facility.  The passage of time is occasion for reflection and that can be great and weighty in equal measure.  When things are cooking with gas, I can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything else.  On longer days, I think about what it might be like to work a 9 to 5er for someone else and leave my job at the door every night when I get home.

To me, this is natural and it’s part of a healthy engagement with your business.  The highs aren’t meant to last indefinitely and the lows are patches you can most always ride out.  In either case, it’s important to remember why you do what you do.  A clear understanding of your purpose and vision keeps you grounded and reminds you to orient your focus towards the things that make you tick, through rising tide and low.

At Woodshed, we do what we do because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to be better.  We believe that there is constructive and redemptive power in self-improvement, and we believe that this process ennobles both coach and athlete, helper and doer.

When we help an athlete string together double unders, or set a personal best on their squat, or jump on a box for the first time, we are paying our dues to something I think is a part of every one of us and bigger than all of us combined: the human drive to be better than we were yesterday.  I can’t think of any instinct that grants more to its takers, and having our hands on this process feels in some ways like working with a live current–it is that exciting, weighty, and sometimes more than a little bit scary.

On a personal level, I do what I do because of Brendan, the ROTC student I helped through his first 300 point Fight Gone Bad workout over twelve years ago.  I was tasked with counting his repetitions and keeping him on task, but about halfway through the workout I experienced the gathering realization that his score meant more to me than anything in the world at that moment.  I started yelling things I’d heard my coaches yell at me, I screamed “you got this” until my throat hurt, and I begged and pleaded with him to give us one more rep, over and over again.  I had never felt this way before.  Not even close.  It was like someone else had taken over my brain and body and maybe in some sense that was true, maybe this was the person *I* could be when I stopped giving a shit about all the things that didn’t really matter in this life and paid attention to people, effort, and being better one repetition at a time.

I walked into the gym that day worrying about a workout and I walked out thinking that maybe this was what I was meant to do with my life.

And when I get spun around at the end of a tricky day, or caught up trying to manage the world’s expectations of me or our gym, or projecting ten years into the future and worrying over every month’s balance sheet, I flash back to that workout twelve years ago.  That is my true north.  That is why I do what I do.

And that is why we do what we do.  I’m proud to work with coaches who share that commitment to self-improvement and the beauty of building ourselves up one piece at a time.   Our tools are maybe a little off-kilter–squats, presses, prowler pushes, and kettlebell swings–but our aim is true.

We put our hands out to help you because we know that we are also gathering ourselves up higher in the doing.

One day at a time.  One repetition at a time.

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