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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Atmosphere/Game On

...the irony that it's taken me over 2 weeks to right this.

I posted -
(Not a dig at any other training facility.). 
I've never trained (myself or clients) in a facility as full or as complete as Everybodies Gym in Chardon. The people, the equipment, lay out, set up, and ATMOSPHERE is bar none the most motivational and inspiring situation I've ever been a part of. People tell me alllll damn day "I train here," "I do this at home," and it's all good, but I'm telling you, the ATMOSPHERE here is contagious, you can't stop yourself from going hard in here.
Truth, no matter happens during the day, I walk in here, the owner cranks the music, the gym starts to get moving and the place goes off. If you're within a 25-30 minute drive of Chardon, you need to be here."
And that thought has been surrounding me for a while, how important atmosphere is.  There are gyms and fitness centers all over the country.  Some are great, some are average, some are lacking.
The post/thread went on -
"Atmosphere is everything. A million gyms have similar equipment and all the above... But there's an intangible, an "x," factor that's hard to define. The IT, that this gym definitely has plenty of." 
Of what?  Whats the "x" factor?

As always, there's a common line bringing together the fitness world with our careers/jobs and home, so I started thinking about atmosphere across the board.
In the gym, there's an atmosphere that can be intense but relaxing at the same time, I think that might be what I feel at my gym.  It motivates you to work hard, really hard, and also to stay and work longer.  I've been in gyms where I just wanted to get in, get my work done and get out as fast as possible.  I did not enjoy being in these gyms.  So one thing I can see is the actual space... it helps create this particular atmosphere... we aren't all on top of each other, waiting in line for equipment or bumping into each other.  There's plenty of equipment and more than enough useful, functional space.

We all have (or hopefully have) a job or career going and atmosphere is cruuuucial, because we spend so much time there, most of us 40+ hours per week.  We're there with coworkers, we're performing our "task," following guidelines and procedures, etc.  We're eating meals there, we might be changing clothes there and we usually develop friends there.  So this is basically home #2, which means how we feel while we're there is everything.
An employer may say "Well, you get a pay check!  Don't ya?  The place is clean enough!  Isn't it?" and that could be true... but is it enough?  (If I ask "Is this enough?" or "Is that good enough?" I'm setting you up.)  Is getting a pay check enough?  For me, I see it as why be a 6 when you have the potential to be a 9 or a 10?  Why sand bag it?  Why be "just good enough?"  Why not strive to be great?
Again, I think atmosphere is a little abstract and open to interpretation.    But I also believe there are a few enormous common traits we share as human beings that ties into the last scenario.


Like the gym, the work place and home, we want to feel like we belong... we want to feel like we can grow and be ourselves... We want to feel comfortable (but not lazy).... We want freedom to grow, but at the same time, we do enjoy some structure.  We need schedules, we need a certain set of procedures, because without these procedures and rules and such, we wouldn't have a drive to push them... to expand and grow and evolve into new procedures, create new and improved rules.

I see it, us, as plants... and our atmosphere matches.  As a plant, there are things we need to grow and become strong, healthy and maximize our true potential.  If you plant your garden in the shade and never water it, never care for the dirt, if you don't protect it, your plants will fail and die.  You may get lucky and pull a few tomatoes, but you'll never reap the benefits you could have had you planted that same garden in the sunshine and watered it, put a fence up around it to protect it from animals, cared for the dirt so the plants had a strong foundation to reach down with their roots and find home.  The plants need clean, fresh air, not contaminated, polluted, toxic debris.
Same goes for us.  We need to be in environments that allow us to grow, that want us to grow, to evolve into the best possible human we can become.

For me, I like to think that's one reason why people enjoy training with me and working with me.  I'm always ready and looking for the opportunity to take us one step further down the path of development.  Doesn't matter if i'm talking to someone about going back to school, or entering a fitness competition or making even larger life choices.
Sometimes all we need is knowing someone has our back... that could be all the atmosphere we need.

Along those lines but totally different... something to think about.

I was listening to a podcast with two of my favorite podcasters, Duncan Trussell (comedian) and Aubrey Marcus (Owner of Onnit).  They were going back and forth on philosophical ideas as to what were all actually doing here... whats the goal... whats the plan... etc.
One said something like "What if this is all a game?  What if our real self is off somewhere playing this thing we're calling LIFE?  This game cost x amount of dollars are we're actually sitting in a game room... playing these characters."
They went on and eventually said "Who the F would choose to waste their game tokens watching the Kardashians?"
So on my drive home through beautiful Geauga County, I thought about that... Lets day dream for a second and think about decisions we've made, habits we have, things we currently do, and then what our plans are... If this were a game, would any of it change?
If's about control.  Its about not feeling like a slave, no?  Slave to debt, slave to money and again... freedom.   Because control would mean, absolute control of time and absolute control of time would mean we choose how and when we do what we do, the value on it.  
It would also mean control over every thought and action.  Our habits aren't really, real habits.  They're decisions that trigger "happy," chemicals, right?  We have a habit that makes us happy but we don't always know why... maybe a food or a show or a different drug, because actually food and television and anything that stimulates your brain to release particular chemicals (some of which are also found in certain plants, but are for some reason illegal) is a drug.  Crazy?

Jeez, thats off topic... point is, if this were a game... would you be playing it differently?
I had a friend who was obsessed with running off to do yoga alone in some mountain... I always thought how much he'd be missing out on.  Would he find happiness?  Maybe.  Would he be maximizing this experience?  No.
Aubrey and Duncan ended it joking about the monks saying something like "They think they're finding the meaning of life and nirvana by meditating all those hours... then the game ends and everyone back home mocks that thats how they used their game tokens... sitting in one room, breathing their life away, never really living... never getting the full gaming experience."