This morning I received news that was upsetting and made me wonder why I do what I do. Why bother owning small businesses when it is this hard? Wouldn't it just be easier to throw it all away and be employed somewhere? So, why am I considering growing bigger and owning more businesses?
This is not a frame of mind I find myself in very often, I am usually very positive and find the best in every situation and know that my "why" is bigger than obstacles thrown at me. But this morning, I was struggling to retain my optimism and my "why", "creating opportunities that otherwise would not exist" was feeling a little foggy.
I felt like a big glass of wine or a gin and tonic to ease my stress but since it was only 9am decided to something a little closer to my values and my usual form of stress relief and went for a run.
In the first few minutes of my run, my body was feeling like my mind, a bit sore and beaten down, and feeling like it was just all too hard. But then I noticed some cyclists start to pedal past me. One by one they went past me in a line, there ended up being about 30 of them, and the one thing they all had in common was they were all over the age of 70. Lots of them were dressed in matching cycling jersey's and appeared to be from a local cycling club and they were having a ball, laughing and chatting to each other as they cycled along.
Involuntarily I was beaming at them and noted the sense of pride I felt for them. How amazing, these wonderful people were out there on a cool Autumn morning, healthily and happily embracing life. I felt inspired. Suddenly my body and mind didn't feel so sore and I was enjoying my run. Then it hit me. This is why I do what I do every day.
The reason I was so inspired by these older people out there on their bikes was that at the moment, they are an anomaly. It is becoming more common for the older generation to remain active, however it is even more common to hear "I'm too old" or "I can't do that" when it comes to anything active. This is pretty understandable since if we rewind to about 40 years, when these people were my age, there was no such thing as "Personal Training" and even going for a run as I was in this moment was looked upon as something only athletes or crazy people did. So, is it any wonder that it's less common to see a group of 30 people over 70 years old on bikes than it is to see or hear that they are too old to do it?
Now, in 2017, there is a gym or fitness studio on every street corner and exercise and health is spoken about most days in the media. I am so proud that I am part of this industry that is ensuring that in 2057, most of us who will be 70 years old then, will be attending regular exercise sessions, going for runs or bike rides and generally living an active lifestyle, much more active than any generation before us. Sure, we have a long way to go but we are heading to a time where being healthy and fit is the rule not an exception, and I want to be a part of that. I want to be able to look back on my life and know that I made a positive difference to the health of future generations to come. To do this, I need to keep going and keep growing my Personal Training studios and the Trainers in them.
Because, the more opportunities I create for my Trainers to grow and develop and the more studios we open to help further these opportunities, here in Victoria, in Australia or even overseas, the more lives (both our Trainers and our clients) we can change.
Most people think that at Vision Personal Training we focus on weight loss results and that this desire to lose weight comes from a place of vanity. But, with the vast majority of the general population being overweight, focusing on helping people lose weight, is our way of ensuring there are more 70 year olds riding their bikes in years to come. Weight gain and weight loss generally stems from a number of issues, physically and mentally, and the power that comes from losing weight, getting fit, strong and healthy allows people to embrace life in a way they never thought they could before.
So, yes losing weight may have an element of vanity (but who isn't guilty of feeling better about themselves when they fit in that pair of skinny jeans they haven't for years) but what I see when people lose weight is so much more than that. I see the women who lose 50-70 kilos and don't have to face the humiliation ever again of asking the flight attendant for the extra seat belt. I see the women who have lost 20 kilos and now run for fun and have created a network of friends that spend their time socializing at running events, walking events and inspiring their children or spouses to get healthier too. I see the man who has lost 10kilos and can now spend the weekend kicking the footy with his sons. I see the woman who loses 10kilos and finally falls pregnant after years of trying and trains healthily and intelligently during her pregnancy to deliver a bundle of joy that symbolizes all she has ever wanted in life. I believe these are the same people who have now changed their lives forever and will go on to be a part of an aging population who live more active, fulfilled lives. So, call it vanity if you must, but I call it changing lives.
Obviously not everyone is going to get excited about helping people lose weight or about 70 year olds riding bikes, but I know that no matter how hard things get, or how many challenges are thrown our way, that we will continue to be passionate about creating opportunities that otherwise wouldn't exist, which will mean we continue to change people's lives and we will leave the world a better place than we found it.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.