I’m in a state of awe that Aleda will be celebrating her 5-year anniversary this month on February 20th. There are so many great memories, transformations, and people we have cherished along the way. We have had our ups and downs, our joys and frustrations, but most importantly we have had great success in creating an incredible community. I’m most proud of the people we have nurtured at Aleda. All of YOU are what make it so special and so fun to be a part of.
I honestly never imagined what would come about when we had a simple idea: To create a better, more enjoyable fitness experience for people who don’t enjoy the typical gym. To create a safe place for people to take care of their health and fitness needs. Who knew a quiet introvert could create a business filled with such awesome people!
I’ve learned a lot along the way. Some lessons were harder to learn than others, but I wouldn’t trade a thing. Our hardest lessons create the greatest opportunities for growth.
Lesson #1: The Greatest Form of Wealth Is Your Health
As most of you know, I struggled with chronic pain for a long time. For the majority of our time being in business, I was unhealthy: stressed out, overwhelmed, and living in debilitating pain every day. I was living each day inside a shell of my potential. Watching my mom’s health take a turn for the worse and seeing her struggle to stay alive, seeing how much my health problems were affecting my marriage, and trying to help a community eliminate their health concerns were all completely eye-opening issues for me. If you don’t take care of your health, you have nothing – you can’t be active, you can’t participate in life, and you worry those around you. You could have all the money in the world, but if you aren’t healthy, what’s the use? You can’t do anything with it. Protect your health: it’s what makes life enjoyable. It’s no coincidence that Aleda had her best year in business last year – the first full year when I wasn’t living with chronic pain.
Lesson #2: People Come For Our Programs, But Stay For The Community
I don’t know how I got so lucky to attract the most amazing community at Aleda! The people truly make the business. I want thank each and every one of you for making Aleda such a special place. I may have had the vision, the intention, and the standards to shape a great culture, but you guys (my amazing team included!) keep it going. You respect one another, you help one another, you support one another and you welcome and embrace new people. Thank you for helping us make Aleda unique, friendly, and an inspiring place to be every day.
Lesson #3: The Heart of Transformation
We have had many transformations take place since we have been open. Many people are healthier than they have ever been – whether it’s due to weight loss, strength gains, movement efficiency, better balance control, or getting rid of pain. Outside of understanding the science behind transformation and human behavior, the one thing I have learned that never fails to help propel people towards success is to meet them where they are. It doesn’t seem huge, but this is the common denominator in every successful transformation we have been a part of. Start where you are. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.
Lesson #4: The Future of Fitness and Health Isn’t What You Think
Professionals in the health and wellness industry will be left behind if they do not understand one thing: the brain. Everything relates to a brain/nervous system problem. Movement patterns, pain, vision, balance, coordination, accuracy, mobility, what you do, how you feel, and what you think all live in the brain and are all processes of brain function. All that we are is derived from the brain, so in order to make changes in any area of your life you must “speak brain.” I look forward to writing and sharing more on this topic with you in 2017!
Lesson #5: Bouncing Back is a Priceless Skill
We all have a habitual place in our lives where we want to give up. I have learned to embrace that place. I have wanted to quit numerous times when my challenges seemed like too much for me to handle. Quitting would be the easier thing to do, but every time I got knocked down, I found I got up that much stronger. Being faced with uncertainty, collapse, fear, and helplessness is scary. Learning how to accept what is in order to bounce back more capable, stronger, and with more confidence is priceless. What is the thing that keeps you going in the face of quitting? That’s where the magic lives. Once I learned to embrace that moment, accept it, and see what it had to teach me, life amazingly got better every time.
These are the most valuable skills and values I have learned in the past 5 years of running Aleda. I certainly couldn’t have done it without you, my team, my wife, my family, and my mentors/coaches. I thank you with all my heart for your support, because it takes a village to run a business and there is no other “village” I would rather thrive with. Here’s to another 5 years of health, amazing people, transformation, brain-based training, and bouncing back.
All my love,