Sometimes it is difficult to know your place in the world, and where you fit in exactly. I have discovered that I can only understand who I am by the impact I make on others. My clients make their opinions about me based on what they take away from coming to our gym. I depend on their feedback to know if I am doing a good job. I take pride in their accomplishments. Your purpose, vocation, words, or actions will never be about you or the message you intended, but rather how that message is received by those around you. The moment you think your voice is the most important one in the room, is the moment you stop growing and people quit listening.
Every year at the Nanaimo Kettlebell Club is different from the last. Each year I meet and train new people; some of them stay and some of them move on. Each year our competitive team grows a little larger and more diverse. Each year members reach new and sometimes scary heights where the biggest challenge is staying there, not getting there. They learn about themselves, and I learn about them and how I can help the next person with the knowledge I've gained.
I look back at old certifications and accolades received in years past, if for no other reason than to remind myself that they actually happened. They seem somewhat trivial compared to now. I remember the challenge and the chase: the grunt work, the neck-wrenching research, the nervousness of being tested - whether by competitions or exams. I look at myself now and realize that I was never done, and each accomplishment served only to precede the next. I am always learning, and always pushing myself to be better.
This is how it is with weights. This is the nature of weightlifting. Weightlifting is the ongoing process of self-evaluation through practice and performance. You temper your body, mind, and spirit with gym iron. You repeat the same exercises day after day, week after week, and month after month until you master your body. Your body repays you with stamina, strength, and resilience. When the body is stubborn and refuses to develop, you make changes and push the envelope, coaxing the body to respond - but never forcing it. You must listen to your body to tell you how much is enough, but you must never fail to set your sights a little higher each time. Just like the seasons, your body changes: not always stronger or faster, not always bigger or leaner. But progress is always forward, and never backward.
So who am I? Where do I fit? What is my place?
Here is my coaching mantra: I offer opportunity. I provide encouragement. I show fairness. I build trust. I start my day with a smile with the hope it rubs off on others. I will show others the way, and for as long as I am of able mind and body I will continue to lead by example.
I started the Nanaimo Kettlebell Club competitive team because I saw greatness in those who, perhaps had no way to express it. I founded the Grip Strength Kettlebell Competition to provide a platform for the people I believe in to challenge themselves. I support my fellow gym owners and physical trainers to share their craft with those looking to glean hard earned wisdom. If I have succeeded in business, in sport, or in life then it is because I am raised up by my most ardent cohorts.