Just in case you have been living under a rock, the East Coast got hammered with a record snowstorm this weekend. New York City, where I live, was pummeled with 26.8 inches of powder thanks to Snowstorm Jonas on Saturday. It was the second largest snowfall recorded in Central Park in NYC history, missing first place by 1/10th of an inch. Yet, looking at my Instagram feed, you would never know anything was awry in the fitness world. People were still spinning, kicking, boxing, lifting, running, and sweating away — in the middle of a blizzard. Finally, around mid-afternoon, most studios were forced to call it quits as authorities said they would be shutting down all roads and public transportation into and around Manhattan. Reluctantly, spandex clad die-hards gave in, opting for their cardio workout to be trudging through 2 feet of snow towards home or a late brunch, instead of on a treadmill in a studio. Fitness world: 1 Jonas: 0.
In my 15 years of professional life working in Finance both on Wall Street & beyond, I have spent a lot of time around “die-hards”. I know from Type A personalities, and classic overachievers. I have shared too many meals than I care to count with “Masters of the Universe”. Nothing has impressed me more however, than the sheer tenacity and passion of people who inhabit the fitness world. On both sides of the bench: both instructors and clients - the people who are truly the ones who commit themselves to the profession, or who as students, strive for fitness and strength on a daily basis, are some of the strongest and most dedicated people I know. And perhaps the most beautiful and unique thing about this world is that the way it works best… is when both sides are inspired by each other.
Yesterday morning, I was invited to an event sponsored by one of my favorite trainers, Gerren Liles, at the flagship store of one of the largest Athletic brands in the country. An early Saturday morning class in January usually isn’t the easiest to fill on the sunniest of days, let alone on the day of a blizzard. However, this morning, the entire store was packed with 36 people who braved the elements and came to sweat- a testimony not just to the talents and dynamic, highly respected reach of my friend, but also in great part to the tenacity of the souls in the room.
Fitness gives you an opportunity every day to test yourself. It gives you the chance to run harder, lift heavier, push yourself just a bit further, punch that bag just a little longer. Fitness gives your body the chance to say “I know you can do this, you were built to do this”. And it also gives your head a chance to catch up. Once you realize what your body is capable of doing, it’s almost like a light switch going on, and it is at that moment you become a force. The moment you realize that you are an athlete, that you were built to be one since birth, is one of the most powerful moments you can have. So the journey of you the athlete, your fitness journey, begins and it becomes intoxicating.
The snow this past weekend was brutal, it was an event. It was Mother Nature’s way of telling everyone to slow down and nest for a bit. But it was no match for the people of the fitness world in NYC. We just kept on sweating.