CARRY THE WEIGHT
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
For most of my life, up until the age of about 26 or 27, I was a slacker. I did almost nothing around the house. Whenever my Ma would ask me to mow the lawn, I’d purposely ride over the tree roots, hoping it would break the blade so I’d either A) have to stop or B) never get asked again. My first job was at a deli, where I would hide in the dairy cooler for hours or look really busy in the stock room shuffling around boxes.
Now that I think about it, the only thing I was disciplined about was fitness, but only my own. When I first became a trainer, and “followed my passion”, I’d show up 15 minutes late to appointments, because I was busy cooking, eating or sleeping. Selfishly (and stupidly), I’d put my biceps before all else, despite my clients investing their valuable time and hard earned money with me.
I certainly wasn’t contributing my fair share to the world around me. I wasn’t carrying my weight – me, me, me, on my own terms, when and IF I ever felt like it. It’s pretty embarrassing, to say the least, but true.
Knowing my past, I’m shocked I’ve been able to pay my bills and put a roof over my head as a trainer for this long. I’m even more surprised with what I’ve been able to create with PRYMAL. But since starting it 2 years ago, when I ventured out on my own away from a big box gym, I’ve recently run into the biggest stumbling blocks. The past few weeks, especially, I’ve gone through serious growing pains that have taught me hard life lessons.
At first, PRYMAL was just me. Something I’m comfortable with. Only child. Selfish. Entrepreneur. It’s always started and ended with me. Then, as I wanted and needed to grow, I brought on help: a client for graphics and editing, an intern, a trainer, and then another trainer. At first, I was excited people wanted to be a part of something that was both different and better. I wanted to share, build, and grow with a team because I knew it would make the entire thing better. But, it was short-lived when I soon realized anybody I brought on was a human with his or her own personality, emotion, and opinion. I would soon be proud and let down all within the same breathe. There would be friendships formed, as well as broken. Working with others played out entirely different than what I anticipated, so I had to make the firm decision that if I continued down this path of growing a brand, I’d have to take 100% responsibility for whatever the fuck happened. In all cases – regardless if I felt wronged, let down, or taken advantage of- I’d have to stand up and carry whatever weight needed to be carried – whether it was all or some…for either the time being or for forever.
Taking responsibility was a mindset shift for me, and it’s something I think we all could use a reminder of, which is why I share this. I see the similarities in the fitness journey as well. You’re responsible for your body, your food, your exercise, and the work you put in. No one can do the push ups for you but you. Relationships: hear your partner out, and see if YOU can fix it. And if an employee quits on a random Wednesday, take responsibility and don’t take it personally. Don’t take any of it personally. Don’t have expectations of others, either. (hard lesson right there). This is not about being disappointed with people, or human nature. Instead, I now see this as a very powerful place to come from because I’ve had to learn there is never any reason for me to get upset over something I can’t control. Being upset about anybody else’s actions only trips me up and causes feelings of resentment. When you have no expectations, everything else is just a bonus and +1. It’s always all good because you expect nothing.
By not needing anything from anybody, you make your life better. You develop strength, discipline, and confidence, knowing that although you can accept other’s help, you can also manage a lot by yourself if you have to (and you probably will). You feel a sense of pride knowing you’re reliable in a world of flakes and excuses.
I think the bottom line is in life, Be willing to carry ALL of the weight. I’ve found that more often than not when you are willing to carry the weight, you actually benefit more because often, hard work itself is a reward greater than the actual result. When you see a situation where someone is needed to put in extra effort, be that person. And maybe you already are. But if you’re like I was in my late 20s trying to break the lawn equipment so someone else to had to do it, try carrying more than you’re used to. I bet you’ll enjoy more than you think.