There is no doubt that Covid 19 has impacted us all in some way or another. No one is unscathed. Some of the changes have been actually good, as we learn to think differently using our ability to adapt. But some of the fallout has clearly not been good, as I consider those who have had businesses devastated and literally livelihoods taken away. We should also not forget to mention of course, all those who have lost their lives.
I figured it was time to share some thoughts of mine as I reassess my life, my business and my future in this world we find ourselves. Best Practice started pretty much off the cuff back in 2005. When I say ‘off the cuff’ it is because there wasn’t a lot of business planning per se. It was more like, “I want to be fit, healthy and robust for the rest of my life and I reckon others do too. If I help others I am more likely to stay on that path myself” That was it, that was the inspiration. I guess it was kind of selfish when you get down to it, but putting self interest aside I have always been a natural coach and helping others something that I was drawn to.
Besides the aforementioned motivation, I had studied all aspects of human performance including, exercise science, coaching, nutrition, physiology, anatomy, motor learning, biomechanics and psychology across 3 university degrees. But despite all that, I was still wanting to know more. You see, this whole field was super interesting to me as I tried to uncover within myself (for a lot of it) what went wrong in my initial chosen career path of professional tennis. Now THAT was a time of transition for me. I know it is not that uncommon to have something that you have banked on for so long not end up happening. You gotta firstly deal with that disappointment and then reassess your priorities. I did a lot of thinking on my boat as I motored up from Sydney the Whitsundays, way back in 2001 on the adventure of a life time. All that deliberation afforded to me on a very slow boat, eventually led me to the expression of that passion in the business known as Best Practice Personal Training aiming to be the best Brisbane Personal Training option, at the Valley pool in 2005.
The thing that I always come back to when reassessing direction are my values. You need to know what is important and for me that hasn’t changed. I have come to realise , that I can still have those same values and express them in a different way. I was very hands on back in 2005 and pretty much all the way to only very recently. I still love health, fitness and performance and see that as my platform all the way through till hopefully a not so bitter end I am driven by the idea that you absolutely must put the oxygen mask on yourself first, if you are to have any chance of helping anyone else. This is not a new concept and I have spoken about it before. I think it applies to everyone. Get yourself right and then help others. I know this aspect has been spoken about with many a prospect when it comes to carving out the time and resources to invest in one self before considering other obvious responsibilities that are put forward as obstacles. It is very much relevant to what I experienced in April this year when Covid 19 became so prominent for us.
I have always known that a connection with people is super important, both from a general social health point of view and obviously a relationship business like ours. We don’t sell widgets based on price. We sell the concept of a better life and us helping you achieve it and that by it’s nature is very personal. When it looked like the business’s financial survival was on the line, it forced me in to focus on other things whilst my more than capable and likeable team stepped up to look after everybody with the actual training. This development and change of dynamic is one that I know I have needed to (perhaps some time back even) implement, if the business and idea of Best Practice is really to continue. If the truth be known I was probably in burn out too, so believe it or not Covid possibly saved me.
Unfortunately this transition made a lot of sense to me but the process and experience of it has not boded well for everybody we serve or have served. The reasons for this are many and I can’t pretend to think I know them all but what I do believe is that my communication could have been better at times to help alleviate the tensions around such big changes. I think I simply applied the oxygen to myself because that is all I had the energy for. This is a hard thing to admit for someone who presents or likes to present as able to handle it all.
So where to from here? As I said the examination of my values has led me back to a renewed passion for the task of getting coaching and support in the field of exercise, nutrition, recovery, health and performance in general. The delivery of this may be different right now and who knows for the future too how it may manifest. Right now we have training in person in a larger but demographically (for the most part) friendly gym, online training, both 121 and small groups (new short course challenges coming soon) and now the option of a small studio feel again in a location really and I mean really close to where we operated from previously in Allison st. Will we be back in an exclusive Best Practice signature studio soon? This is where my pure business hat goes back on. The numbers need to stack up quite simply. We are in rebuild mode and we are looking to share what we do as best we can and perhaps properly for the first time in 15 years with a dedicated and focussed strategy, which will become clearer over the coming months with various communications you may see.
I hope you can still be a believer because there are two over riding truths that I will continue to push and hone in on more and I am going to draw on my (almost) professional sporting background to highlight the first one. You need to practice something enough until it becomes part of your subconscious, no questions, no negotiations, no hesitations, just a behaviour pattern that runs off because it has been so instilled and it is your habit.
Secondly, in my quest to rail against the stupidity and vacuous nature of the heavily marketed fitness call to arms, which has all too often in the past been framed as ‘punishment-to-achieve-hotness’, I still vehemently propose something else. That exercise, when done right makes you feel better from day 1. The need to push and feel the so called burn, can come later and to be quite honest is purely optional. I also feel that the reason for getting the whole exercise thing going needs to be at the forefront of the nudge, us fitness types engage in. I call this ‘useful fitness’. Who doesn’t want to be useful in to their late years and take advantage of the life that is possible when you consistently make the deposit in to your personal account that is health.
Stay with me for the ride as I build our already fantastic team as they are ready, willing and able to help to keep the dream alive for more and more people. Could anyone argue that there isn’t a need for it going forward in this crazy world?