Change is Growth, Growth Can Be Painful
No change without “pain”:
October 2014 I had my introduction to Metafit. A newbie to the industry, and just getting some basic skills in teaching Pilates mat sessions to groups, and freestyle step classes as my Mum’s employee, I was heading to Sydney on the weekend (as you do when you’re in the industry) for a 1 day Pilates course and happened to see the Metafit coaches course was on the Sunday. Since there was no one else offering 30min High Intensity Interval Training classes locally, and I did not want to add to the pool of boxing/bootcamp/circuit instructors – I decided to go and check it out!
After all, being a mum of young kids with limited time to work out and all the learning and catching up I was trying to do to come up to speed, 30 min workouts that promised to torch fat and push my fitness to the next level was very appealing to me personally as I struggled to shift the last few kgs constantly despite running for hours on end.
Didn’t I get a wake up call! The first thing we did at the coaches course was – a Metafit session of course.
I felt I had a reasonable level of fitness. I could run 10km, teach step classes, I worked out most days of the week!
Granted, I did feel out of place amongst some of these muscly industry veterans. But something sparked in me that day as I floundered about in shock that I could barely survive a 30 second interval of this hard out bodyweight work…. I noticed the other fitter looking, stronger candidates struggling too – but at another level to me and where I was at.
At the end of the day’s training I could barely limp to my car to drive home my legs were completely and utterly trashed. They had just been worked like never before.
I decided to take the 5 Metafit tracks that came with the course and do them 2 times per week from then up until Christmas to see if it really was all it was cut out to be, and produced the results promised.
It wasn’t easy, sometimes I *may* have cried, and also a few times I may have turned off the tracks halfway through. But I kept trying, and within a few weeks of 2 sessions a week, I started to get better. I started to get more done, stop less. My running improved, particularly pushing uphill. But what was most incredible was that I eventually got 10cm off from around my waist, my most maligned problem area – and it stayed off.
That’s when I decided this was a legit thing I wanted to share with others just like me.
There is much more to this story, including how hard it was to build my business to where it is today, and how hard it is to keep running it, but the point is, I had to work for the results I got and what I am proud of today.
If you’ve read Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” which I’m sure many of you have heard of, you’ll know that he discusses failure, pain and what we learn from those “negative” experiences at length.
I went and saw Mark speak a couple of years ago, and was surprised to learn about all the failures and difficulty he had in getting out this book that is now so prevalent in pop culture.
It really got me thinking about how much people give up to do what they believe in. Whether that is a business idea, a fitness goal or even volunteering. In most cases we give up time, money, do things that we haven’t before/give up the norms, and step outside our comfort zones. Mark discusses how we are conditioned to avoid uncomfortable feelings in our society today. I agree.
In my early days as a fitness trainer, I had a debate over the purpose of exercise classes with another instructor. I explained that there was a need to get clients to commit or they would not experience the changes and results they were really seeking out. This instructor said: “Oh, but if you can just get them to go home feeling REALLY GOOD then you’ve done your job”. She was a bit shocked that I didn’t agree. Granted, she taught a completely different format to a completely different clientele, but sadly missed the whole point of how the physiological changes clients actually want occurs in the body. I knew I didn’t just want to deliver a whimsical feel good factor.
I wanted my clients to get amazing results in less time out of their days and weeks. The caveat to that is hard work and commitment.
I’ve continued to work towards that ideal ever since. I think Mark’s experience of having his now hugely successful piece of work rejected time and time again before it ever saw the light of day is a great example of how not everyone will get where you’re coming from.
It took me a long time to realise this, but I’m very cool with it now, if not still having the occasional moments of frustration if I’m completely honest!
So we’re now just over 1 year in our very own venue. We landed there after spending several years in various community halls and fields, when I decided that the standard of that was no longer good enough for my clients. One last pile of garbage at the door and a suspected vomit stain on carpet where we would do pushups/burpees and the indifferent management tipped me over the edge and I happened across a shed I could *just* afford in weekly rent, if I worked hard enough. And work I have. Like I never have before. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of learning and pain and making some tough decisions. But again, as people, we wouldn’t be who we are today if everything always went our way, and quickly.
Our venue was created with the support of my members who believe in what we do – I couldn’t get the funds to fit it out, no financial institution wants to look at a “gym” – the failure rates are too high. With what I could scrape together personally and the backing of members willing to pay me to train them for 12 months – we got it set up.
If I had played the safe game, the standard expected game, and aimed to train the most people for the least cost, I’d still be a field/hall/garage trainer who didn’t expand out into nutrition, new equipment, better skills, more learning. If I didn’t go through some of the pain and learning I have, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
This is why all members are now getting: more classes and times, free custom training programmes, priority access to PT, free fat loss advice and consults, and cookbooks and discounts for relaxation treatments to name a few things. They showed commitment and I will go out of my way to help anyone who does.
I am not investing in overseas holidays as most fitness influencers are (even though I’d love to, I’m only human!), I’m investing in something bigger.
I have made it my mission from day 1 to offer more than just an exercise class, and this is an ongoing process – which is why things need to change again.
Keep an eye out for our new name, which will incorporate the fact we now offer so much more than just the Metafit classes we started out with, although these still form an integral part of our training philosophy.
To members past and present – thank you, never give up, never stop learning and do the best you can always – you are amazing!
To anyone reading this, remember that essentially some level of “pain” ie; sacrifice or change to the norm promotes results. If you are unsure where to start just ask the question. What you find might surprise you and just change your life xx