After some tremendous reflection time on my most recent surf trip I gained clarity as to why Tom and I get out of bed everyday and pour our heart and souls into our companies.
For those that don’t know, the driving force behind everything that we’ve done is to “inspire awesome lives”. It’s why our organization exists.
Now that may sound a little fluffy on the surface so I wanted to take a moment to really describe what that means to us and why it gives us so much purpose, passion, and fulfillment.
Many of you have read our definition of an awesome life that’s plastered on the wall as you enter the gym. I wrote that several years ago and recently took another stab at it to ensure that it includes all the values of our entire community.
To us an awesome life is a life with optimal health, physically and mentally. One where you feel comfortable in your own skin; loving and respecting your body. One full of passion, purpose, and love. One with freedom, capacity, and function to perform. One with self-awareness, self-control, and an abundance mindset. One with connection to others and a strong sense of belonging. And finally, one that includes opportunities for personal growth and contribution to society.
And that’s truly what we mean when we say that our organization exists to “inspire awesome lives… from any starting point”. But that only scratches the surface of why we feel so passionate about it.
Just like a pebble being thrown in the pond, we’ve come to realize the ripple effect of inspiring awesome lives.
See, our community helps to improve the physical and mental health of the local members of our society and in turn they’ll inspire more health and wellbeing in those that surround them.
Perhaps it’s their spouse or children, maybe their father or mother, or it could be their friends, neighbours, or associates from work. One thing is for certain, when you get inspired to improve your health, you inspire others to do the same.
This in turn will make for a happier, healthier, and more productive society.
Which in turn could facilitate improved capacity for learning and growing.
Which will likely lend itself to a more productive workforce.
Which should make for increased prosperity.
And of course this will create a higher quality living standard, increased resources for science and social programs, and additional free time for spiritual development.
In essence, we do what we do because it impacts the entire world in an extremely positive way! Optimizing health physically and mentally, helping others love and respect their bodies, and creating opportunities for growth and connection, is it any wonder why we are so passionate as health coaches?
That’s also why Tom and I continue to preach that fitness is about so much more than looking good. It’s about feeling better, being better, and functioning better. And most importantly, it’s about having an intensely positive impact on the human race.
Movement is such a fundamental part of our existence and it comes as no surprise that it can be used as a tremendous tool to impact the lives of others.
For contrast let’s consider what happens when people aren’t feeling inspired to take consistent steps towards improved health.
First, they slowly make poor choices and develop bad habits.
These habits spiral in a negative direction and they tend to eat poorly, exercise less, and spend more time on their phones.
This of course decreases their health, both physically and mentally.
Worse yet, it will likely wear off on those that are closest to them. After all, you know how the old saying goes “Your a reflection of the 10 people you spend the most time with”.
Now their kids, friends, and colleagues are more likely to eat worse, exercise less, and indulge in stress inducing habits with them.
Which in turn might cause them to have a decreased capacity for learning and growing.
Of course, this could possibly impact their quality of work and decrease their ability to create prosperity in their lives.
Finally, a society with a diminished state of health and decreased resources isn’t likely to advance technology, discover new scientific truths, or explore spirituality.
Worse yet, a society riddled with preventative, lifestyle-related diseases could create an overwhelming health-care cost for our future generations.
By the way, does this sound eerily familiar?
Well it should as aspects of it are currently happening across the globe! Obesity stats are frightening, lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise and health care is about to get smacked with an additional 100 million people getting diabetes over the next 20 years or so. In fact, in 1980 there were only 108 million people with diabetes, and now there are over 422 million!
As you can see when I contrast the two, all we have to do is impact one life and move it in the right direction towards that awesome life that we so clearly defined. And if we can do that we can have a huge impact on the world at large.
By now I hope you realize why I feel so passionate about what we are doing… optimizing health physically and mentally, inspiring self-care, and connecting a tribe of people that share these same values.
In an effort to continuously improve, Tom and I hope to consistently refine our methods over time.
For example, Crossfit has been a tremendous part of our lives and we are forever grateful for what we have learned with the organization but we’ve evolved into our own company with our own mission, values, and methods.
As a result, we’ve grown more interested in creating optimal health and longevity and less interested in serving the sport of Crossfit. This was a big part of our reasoning when deciding to sell our CanWest Games.
We feel we can create a bigger impact by focusing our vision on helping those that are deeply in need of our knowledge and expertise versus those that are striving for elite athleticism.
It’s why we continue to put emphasis on developing a professional coach/athlete relationship prior to jumping into group fitness. (By the way, the most important function of this relationship is to establish priorities with the athlete, to figure out exactly what they want to achieve, as many of them are uncertain of this themselves when getting started. From there our coaches do what they do best, and that’s to help inspire changes in behaviour.)
It’s why we’ve regularly organized our LIVEFIT events in an attempt to improve the social bonds in our community. (These events also give our members a chance to express the freedom that they’ve developed with their bodies out in the real world rather than just in the gym).
And it’s why we’re constantly looking for ways to contribute socially to our community, whether it’s raising money for a local charity or helping a member in need.
But make no mistake, we hold absolutely no judgement towards competitive and “elite fitness”. On the contrary, we see many benefits that come with it like the amazing comradery, increased motivation, and improved mental toughness. As Glassman says, men are willing to die for points and this alone can be worth the journey.
We just want to ensure that our members understand the trade offs. Elite fitness doesn’t equate to optimal health. In fact, elite fitness is often correlated with many of the signs of sickness including general fatigue, higher likelihood of injury, and immune system dysfunction. But again, that doesn’t make it a wrong thing. We want our members to pursue what is most important to them. If that’s elite fitness, our coaches will happily help you pursue it! They’ll show you the road to maximal physical performance and define the deficiencies that stand in your way. (In fact, as you know, many of our coaches love to compete and do so regularly).
If it’s longevity your after, they’ll focus on creating the lifestyle changes necessary to live a long life full of vitality.
Thank you for doing your part in inspiring awesome lives. Yes you! Tom and I truly believe that each and every one of you is helping with the ripple effect by taking positive steps towards improved fitness and health. Together we have the power to make an extremely positive impact on the world. All we have to do is show up and inspire those that surround us to do the same.
And thank you for taking the time to understand what wakes me up in the morning and keeps me up at night… inspiring awesome lives… from any starting point.
About the author:
Coach Errol Clark holds over 12 years of experience as a performance coach and has helped hundreds of clients lose weight, increase strength, improve function, and decrease pain in their lives.
Errol believes in continuing education and constant learning. He is one of the few trainers in North America to successfully complete the Crossfit L3 CCFT designation and the OPEX CCP coaching modules.
Errol specializes in behavioural change and has extensive knowledge in program design. He also has a refined skill set for improving the nuances of functional movement.