[jbox color=”blue”]3 Lessons:  An Open Letter to Fitness Professionals Everywhere

At the risk of sounding cynical and negative (neither of which is my nature), like me, you may have come to notice how incredibly divisive and jaded the world of Fitness can often be.

We argue over theory and methodology of training.  Whose right, whose wrong and whose an idiot.

We haggle over naming rights, branding and who came up with what idea first.

We abhor ‘that guy’, detest ‘that girl’ and have a general disdain for ‘that group’.

All, I may add, stemming from a collection of people worldwide who claim to want to have a positive impact in people’s lives.

Far be it from me to claim either innocence or superiority on the matter, but when I found myself on the receiving end of some ‘social media’ bashing a few weeks back, I opted for a different approach…

… And these are the 3 lessons I learned…

It took him 5 seconds to type out a sentence that shook my credibility and integrity to the floor.

I suppose that’s one of the evils within the social media world; anyone with an opinion, no matter how jaded or assumptive, can post a single comment that holds the power to alter someone else’s view of who you are or may be.

But in fairness to him, perhaps I deserved it.

Which is a one of the three lessons I hope to offer you today…

…  Because my immediate reaction was not cynical, divisive or vexed.

It was authentic inquisitiveness, grounded in humility.

“I had a bad experience with BG back in 2009”.

And I wondered why.

So rather than taking up the sword of keyboard crusading by offering a scathing comment back that ripped into his integrity as much as he had mine, I sent him a private message.

With a pre-emptive apology for any wrongdoing on my part and asking for clarity on this ‘bad experience’.

But not because I hoped to portray myself in divine benevolence, but because to error is to be human and to take responsibility for those errors, an indispensable quality of character.

What I came to learn, was that during a weekend in 2009, my conduct and behavior was unacceptable.

That I was atypically curd, dismissive and aloof.

And that I owed both he and his staff a genuine apology.

What I hope he learned was that on any given day, people may be ‘off’.  Sullen for reasons we may not know and detached due to causative factors we may not be privy to.

But then creating theories that convert to declarations of truth in your mind, is every bit as glib as the original offense you reacted to.

Take responsibility for your life, yourself and your actions in every sense.  Refuse to sit in a mindset of victimhood, blame or excuse-orientation.

With a charitable heart, try to see what is not visible in the absence of presuming anything about anyone.

Extend your hand truly and honorably by being accountable for what you caused – intentionally or otherwise.

Three lessons that matter.

Three lessons that would help make this industry a better one.