Monthly Archives: December 2011

Observing Some True Holiday Spirit

Every once in a while you get to be witness to something special.  A moment where another human (or group) goes incredibly above and beyond to really make the day of another….to really show they care.  And even when you’re only standing on the side….it touches you….makes you step back for a minute and realize just how truly awesome people can be….and it makes you want to be a better person too.  Last week – this happened to me.

See, each year around this time my colleagues and I are often (unnecessarily) overwhelmed by the generosity of our clients.  To be honest, even though it’s incredibly appreciated….I always feel a bit awkward when I or any of my colleagues receive gifts from clients.  I mean, I know in my heart that it’s because the client truly appreciates our efforts….but my feeling is…..hey….we’re paid fairly for our work…and even though we strive to always go above and beyond….it’s because we love what we do, and love those we do it for.  (FYI – for any clients that may be reading this….you’re awesome…thank you so much for what you do….but next year we’re going to humbly request that in lieu of any gifts that may be coming our way…a donation be made so that those with less means can be scholarshiped to receive the same services you appreciate so much….our way of continuing to pay it forward!)

But this year, something incredible happened…..and a few of Santa’s Elves (some of our clients) rallied the troops to help positively influence / change a life of their trainer.

The story goes something like this…..Gina….a girl with a huge heart who gives it her all for those that she trains has been desperately trying to start a new love affair with cycling.  She had already jumped into the endurance world with her first half marathon….but the cycling / triathlon world comes with many barriers to entry….most notably the ridiculous financial investment required to get the appropriate gear….

So a few of Gina’s clients got the rest of her clients together and pooled their generosity to deliver a Christmas surprise of their own….a sizeable gift certificate so that Gina could further pursue her budding new love!

It was an amazing moment…with a crowd around Gina..filled with people that truly care about her and are appreciative of her efforts on their behalf….and as she opened her gift….the emotions overwhelmed her (and me too).  I couldn’t help the chills shooting down my arm….or the tightness in my throat (I know I’m a softy deep down) as I watched the spirit of the giving season fill the room.

To you and yours….Merry Christmas

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Healthy, Happy Friends = Healthy, Happy You!

Got over the next hurdle – actually signed up for a membership at the YMCA so that I could use a public pool to better prepare myself to achieve a 2012 goal (olympic distance triathlon).  I must admit, it was an incredibly weird feeling…there I am…a guy who has played a role (some might say a significant role) in creating a program that (in my opinion) kicks the crap out of the traditional gym model that places like the Y and other “mega-gyms” provide, standing in front of the reception getting ready to partake with the rest of the general gym going public.   Unfortunately (until I can figure out a way to get a pool here), it’s something I had to do…even though I didn’t want to….and probably wouldn’t have done it I wasn’t pushed to by my brother Mike, the rest of the Pro-Activity staff who keeps achieving personal goals and bests….and some of our very impressive clients who continue to push their own envelope, and inspire me to do the same (did you know we’ve got a guy who ran in his first 5k in late 2009 and will complete his first Ironman Triathlon in 2012!!).  Just goes to show, it CAN BE DONE if you’re willing to take action and put in your time!

But back to the Y…..see, I really have nothing against it as a facility (or any like it) or the staff who are very nice….it’s just…..well the model of things….the “general member” idea……To be honest, I can’t think of many things more dreadfully boring than showing up to a place a couple times a week….where you hardly know or talk to anyone….just so you can numbingly “punish” your body to the beat ringing loudly in your headphones as you stair aimlessly at the tv in front of your “dreadmill”, watching the price is right or the evening news.  I can’t imagine (sarcasm) why some sources state 45% of those who join a gym will quit going……1 in every 2….yikes!

I’ve found that surrounding myself with a community of like minded folks is WAY more enjoyable….exercising in supervised small groups, going for group runs / rides, etc…participating in classes along side people who actually care about you….administered by professionals who are more concerned with your results than if you just paid your monthly membership, and make sure your program is well suited and balanced for your goals AND your needs….is a MUCH better way to go (oh yeah did I say that’s how we do it here at Pro-Activity……woops, meant to say that).

And it’s not just my opinion that having Healthy, Happy Friends can lead to a Healthy, Happy You….check out how our “little” group of 2011 turkey trotters which has grown from a handful in 2005 into a monstrosity of friends motivating each other to do something good for themselves on an otherwise gluttonous day (many of whom didn’t even know each other prior to joining a common fitness class).

(photos courtesy of Rob Preston)

Still don’t believe me – check this link out on one of the most storied studies in all of health – the Framingham Heart Study and how your social network can influence healthy behaviors


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Share Some Good News Today!

I’ve found that the last few days have been flying by.  Last week I stated some of my goals for 2012, and took the time to start mapping out a plan….even got started on a few items, but I’m struggling a bit to break away from other responsibilities and take major steps forward.

The good news, Thursday marks the end of the craziEST season at work (Sept-early Dec.), and puts me smack in the heart of the craziER season – you know, the one where you try like hell to put the finishing touches on everything you said you were going to do in 2011….identify the things you want to accomplish in the upcoming year….put a solid plan in place….begin communicating that plan, get the buy-in necessary….make any  necessary plan modification…then ACTION!

The good news….my to be born daughter has decided to cooperate with her parents so far and is no longer breach….child / parent cooperation?…..a sign of good to come?…..I’m not naive enough to think this cooperation thing won’t change back and forth about a billion times.

The good news, I got to spend a night out with friends….something, had I not been pushed to do, I would have backed out of (b/c of the incredible financial drain that is NYC).

The good news, after another 12 months of working in the health & fitness world – I still love what I do….the people & clients I work with….and have enough passion to share this positive note… a time of year when we’re all “supposed” to be thinking of others, but  it’d be so much easier for me to just be my typical grinch and keep working!

The good news, I’m still ever-willing and eager to meet anyone who shares my passion for health & fitness step-for-step as we stride into a bigger and better 2012.

The good news, whether things are crazy, crazier, or craziest….I’ve been given the choice to respond, and specifically how to do so…and what to pursue on a given day!  And for that gift, always but especially at this special time of year, I am forever grateful.

The bad news….the complaining, the excuses….well I’m sick of it….I choose not to share.  I hope you’ll do the same.

Happy Holidays…God Bless You and Yours

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