An Open Letter To The Unfit

We love you.  In fact, we adore you.  You are welcome, accepted and admired.  We understand the majority of the commercial fitness industry has made you feel unwelcome, inadequate and even inferior.  Please trust that the day of the meathead and oiled bodies is dead.

We all see you come through the doors doe-eyed and nervous.  We all appreciate your fears and anxiety.  Our hearts go out to you but for one reason or another it is not in our grasp to call attention to this fact.  All we can do is watch and wait.  All we can do is hope to see you come in more than once.

We understand the pressure you feel.  We all feel the same pressure.  In fact, the fitter we get the more pressure we are under to perform.   Keep in mind much of this pressure is self-imposed.

We understand your fears.  The Snatch makes us all nervous and there is a box jump height that puts fear into everyone.  You are not alone.  Everyone, at some point, was new.  We all had to go through the process of learning new movements before we became proficient.  Stay strong, stay committed, we will help you.

We see you quietly shy into a corner with your scaled devices and plug away at the workout.  We see the strain in your face.  We feel the pain in your muscles.  We can sense the doubt in your mind.  We know how much you are suffering.  The human in us just wants to rush over and help you or permit you to stop… but the athlete in us knows this is for your own good.  We know you must learn to hold your own.  You must learn to finish and give effort.  We know that Tough Love is sometimes the hardest love to give.

Although we all admire the elite, the exceptional, we are often stopped dead in our tracks watching someone perform their first box jump or plug through their first bout of legit burpees.  Which brings another point, we all hate burpees!  It isn’t just you.

Everyone hurts.  We all wake up feeling like we’ve been hit by a Mac Truck.  Our backs are tight, our shoulders ache.  Stay with it!  In time the soreness is less significant and with training your body will adapt and cope better with this stress.

I have seen people glance at the elite but I’ve watch whole rooms come to a halt to watch the newbie perform their first repetition of anything.  You are vital to our identity.  In our world effort is respected over natural ability.  This is the great equalizer in our ranks.

You remind us of what it means to preserver and give effort.  It is easy for the strong to game workouts.  The most elite in the room never have to worry about finishing last.  You quietly plug away long after others have finished.  We cheer you on because you remind us of what is great and powerful about the human will to commit.  We want you to know that in these moments you inspire and bring us all together.  As you progress we all get to share in your achievements.  The experienced lifter is satisfied with a 5 pound improvement but you are genuinely excited.  The room may stop to watch the experienced athlete but everyone genuinely celebrates your accomplishments.

Your excitement, your progress, your struggle is like putting everything we do under a microscope.  It is like watching a movie in real time where the hero, our underdog, comes out on top.  We love you.  Next time you are sitting at home or in your car debating on whether or not to come in… come in!  We are waiting for you!   You are somebody very special.  You have value beyond measure.

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