A couple of weeks ago, I initiated a conversation with you about how I often think about throwing in the towel. And while I may have been transparent about the fact that I live with doubt on the daily, I wasn’t exactly clear with you about why that is.
Today, I feel the need to share the context with you and hope that you will afford me the space – and security – to be vulnerable.
As most of you know, I currently serve as the Founder and CEO of Upper Deck Fitness, a business that I have built from the ground up over the past 3 years. But what you may not know is that if I wasn’t pregnant – so to speak – with 3 locations and a growing brand, this would be the time that I would be exiting stage right from all things fitness.
Holy cow. I can’t believe I just said that. But I’m really glad I did.
Because I can’t keep it inside me any longer just how not at home I feel within this industry. An industry that rakes in dollars at the expense – literally – of those it was supposedly designed to serve, and that uses “influencers” as its ambassadors.
I mean, when did it ever become okay – let alone cool – to be easily influenced by anyone or anything?
Consider this: According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), more Americans have gym memberships than ever before. And before you think that is a sign of a healthy, active culture, you might want to take in consideration that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that our obesity rates in this country have never been higher.
This doesn’t add up, people. Why isn’t anyone connecting the damn dots?
The real epidemic that is going on in our country not only has to do with obesity. There is another side to it that no one likes to talk about and that is that the fit are getting fitter. Those who workout regularly and are highly motivated now have more options to strive, push and set records than ever before. I’m just waiting for “HIIT” to be added to Webster’s Dictionary. Mark. My. Words.
But what about the person on the couch who has managed to gain 25lbs since they were once a high school athlete? Or the new mom who is lucky if she showers let alone drags the body she is no longer comfortable in to the gym? Or the person so straddled by depression that getting out of bed is the closest thing they get to breaking a sweat?
Not only are we not talking to these people, we are intimidating them. Pushing them away by insinuating that they don’t belong.
Because if you don’t make your own almond milk, take barre and belong to a “box” are you even working out?
Somewhere along the way, our industry forgot what it was supposed to stand for. And in the place of its integrity is a hell of a lot of judgment about how people choose (or not) to take care of their health. Workouts themselves have become status symbols as much as the luxury spandex they are done in. And the end result is a pretentious, impractical culture that is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the people who need us the most.
So this, my friends, is why I often want to throw in the towel.
But it’s also the reason why I don’t.
Because someone has to be the change in this equation. Someone has to start speaking to the people on the couch. And that is what UDF aims to provide as an all-encompassing, lifestyle brand: Filter-free, honest help and endless accountability. And, of course, hearty doses of tough love.
I thank you for allowing me to share my story (in all seriousness, this is the stuff that typically stays behind closed doors). And selfishly, I’d like to ask for your help in propelling the movement we’ve opted to start. If anything you’ve read has resonated, share it. And if you read it thinking “she’s talking about me,” then I invite you to join us. Because you now can – wherever you live – via the power of #UNation, our live stream platform that allows us to coach you right in the privacy of your own home.
Here’s to being the change you wish to see in the world.
Here’s to finding a place where YOU belong.
Make it a good day.