A Bad Match
Have you ever seen someone and thought "We would be a terrible match.".
You can normally get a vibe from someone and think
"I can relate to this person."
Or alternatively you know when you should just keep walking.
A few years ago I went to a national conference in Birmingham.
It was a gathering of one of the national registers of fitness professionals.
The head of this particular register asked the members to stand up
according to their relevant professions.
Personal Trainers, fitness instructors, zumba teachers, yoga teachers,
strength and conditioning coaches and more.
She then repeated the exercise and found out how long people had
been in the industry. 1 year, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, more than 20!
A room full of experts oohed and ahhed, smiled, patted each other
on the back and felt rather smug.
Then that years speaker was introduced, Pete Cohen.
Pete Cohen stood at the front and marvelled at the experience and
skill sets in front of him, he then said "Stand up if you're good at what you do!".
Everyone muttered and joked but sheepishly stood up.
"Are we successful as an industry?"
More muttering and mumbling.
Then Pete dropped a bomb.
"Then why are people obese?
Why is the health of the nation failing?
Why are people more inactive than ever before?
Do you still think we are good at what we do?
Do you still think we are successful as an industry?"
Suddenly everyone was quiet. It was a fantastic point and one that has stuck with me ever since.
90% of the fitness industry is targeted at people who love fitness. The people who would go to classes and take PT, follow a training plan, hit the gym, follow a diet.
What about everyone else?
Those people who are scared by weights, scared by six packs, scared by hard work.
There is an illusion of perfection that intimidates people from taking that first step.
You know the industry is failing when you hear the words,
"I want to join the gym but I need to lose some weight first."
To anyone out there who feels like this is them, don't forget you matter too.
Fitness isn't about six packs, big weights, running marathons.
It's about improvement. It's about progress.
I have as much respect for someone who comes from complete inactivity to a healthy lifestyle, as I do for a good athlete who wins his or her contest.
Start to walk, get some dumbbells, join a class.
Don't be afraid.
You will find someone who will support you and you will also find lots of people in exactly the same position as you.
Don't be intimidated by fitness.
It's time health & fitness turned into a tool to help people. Not something to be flexed and shown off in front of them.
People want to be understood.
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