-Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of the Way!-
This post has to do with the fitness industry, but the “lead, follow, or get out of the way” mentality applies to all professions…as well as life!
Who are the true leaders?
Many “leaders” are really followers in leader’s clothing.
Most people are followers.
Those who are too afraid to step out on their own just get out of the way.
As a toddler I was a leader. One of my dad’s favorite stories is of when I was roughly four years old, and bossing the boys around after church in the parish hall. What was I telling them? “Sit down, boys!”
In grade school, I was also a leader in that I marched to the beat of my own drum. I didn’t necessarily “rule the roost,” however I was a leader to one of the most important people in my life…my little brother. He looked up to me and we had a bond no one could break. I stood up for him.
Junior High was when things changed. I pretty much just got out of the way. I continued to march to the beat of my own drum, yet I became introverted and shy.
I feel I was a “get ouf of the way” type up until roughly January of 2007. Yep, you read that right…January of 2007. Why then? Well, on June 30, 2006, I was in a bad car accident that I was extremely lucky to walk away from with not much more than a fractured eye socket. I should have died. I flipped and totaled my car. This was a major turning-point for me and the months afterward were a bit of a struggle because I was dealing with a lot of things. The wreck stirred up a lot of emotions inside me. The main one was the fact that I was sick and tired of feeling as if others were out there getting things done, while I was not pushing myself to do the same. It was around the time of January 2007 that I really began to buckle down and create some goals again. I realized how easy it is to take life for granted. I also realized how easy it is to take one’s talents for granted. You see, although i’ve had a few brief “maybe such-and-such career is really the one for me” type stints over the past 14 years, i’ve always known in my heart that I was where I belonged. I simply have a knack for working with clients. I must never take this for granted, for I had let myself slip a little bit, which to most wouldn’t be a big deal. My definition of “slipping” in this case means I wasn’t being innovative…I wasn’t “thinking outside the box”…I wasn’t doing my best.
I feel the fitness industry needs more leaders.
I am a fitness industry leader.
This may sound arrogant, but oh well…it’s how I feel.
I am a leader because I have devoted my life to practicing what I preach and spreading the “truth” by being myself. By doing what I love, and by reaching out to people near and far, I am living this every day.
The fitness industry has way too many followers.
Who are the followers?
The followers are those who claim to be “experts.”
The followers are those who do not give a rat’s ass about helping people.
The followers are those who’s main goal in life is to make money.
Fitness is the vehicle.
The followers do not have to know much about exercise, nutrition, and health.
The followers simply regurgitate what others before them have said.
The followers are copycats.
The followers take another “expert’s” package, replace the former label with something bright, shiny, and “new,” and therefore continue the seemingly-popular trend of misleading the public.
The followers feel no shame in doing this, for they are supposedly “making millions.”
The followers are quick to schlep their name on any and every type of fitness “product” known to man.
Quite an easy job, right?!
Let’s make money! 😀
To all the fitness followers, I say this:
When you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, are you truly proud of yourself?
Are you walking your talk or are you a fraud?
You are a fraud if you claim to know all this wonderful stuff about health and fitness, yet have no hands-on expertise.
You are a fraud if you can’t back up your claims with real-life proof.
You are a fraud if you pride yourself on the fact that you know so much about exercise, yet brag incessantly about the fact that you don’t work with clients.
I laugh at the “experts” who spew their “truths,” yet spend their days sitting in front of computers churning out one “miraculous program” after another, all the while getting fatter and more isolated.
How the hell anyone can look at themselves in the mirror and feel proud of the fact that their life’s “work” is complete garbage is beyond me.
The true fitness professionals know who they are…and they aren’t “internet experts.”
The true fitness professionals actually work hands-on with people, and are extremely proud of this fact.
The true fitness professionals may also be branching out by creating an internet presence.
Don’t get me wrong…there is absolutely nothing wrong with having an internet presence.
I love it.
Why limit yourself?
I say, if you truly love being a fitness professional, expand on what you are currently doing.
Don’t limit yourself.
Just don’t sell out.
Selling out means turning your back on the foundation of what makes our industry work…direct interaction with clients.
Selling out means promoting fitness programs and services yet not giving a rat’s ass if they might be worth a crap or not.
Selling out means affiliating yourself with anyone and everyone just for the sake of making more money of other peoples’ successes…and chances are, many of those other successes are a complete joke.
Think about it…would you trust a doctor who sat in front of a computer all day writing the “next greatest medical breakthrough,” after having thrown in the towel because he got sick of listening to people complain about their ailments day in and day out?
I would hope not.
I would hope you had the sense to trust only those who have devoted their lives to working hands-on in the medical profession because they enjoy helping people feel better, and the most obvious way to get this done is through face-to-face interaction with patients.
The “experts” who do not have the balls and/or personalities to relate to people are those who are apparently “making it big” online through the hawking of their “get a six pack in 24 hours” programs.
Wisen up, general public.
Here’s my challenge to those who are neither fitness leaders nor followers…
Here’s my challenge to those of you who have deemed yourselves worthy of just getting out of the way for the rest of your lives…
I challenge the “get of the way-ers” to step up.
I challenge you guys to find ways to put yourselves out there.
I challenge you to become more like the fitness leaders you look up to.
I challenge you to eliminate the possibility of living your life as a fitness follower.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of the pack.
Be a fitness leader.
Even if it means being a leader to a small audience, be a leader.
Even if you feel no one will notice, be a leader.
Whatever you do…don’t be a follower.
Fitness professionals…please share your thoughts!