So last week I had the opportunity to deliver a Ted Talk style presentation to 200+ of my fellow fitness & gym owner peers in the Aviva Stadium.
(As a separate and slightly added bonus, the Ireland International Rugby team were training there that morning!)
The event was run by the excellent FMA - it was a really amazing day with loads of brilliant key note speakers and lots of people in attendance looking to learn and grow.
I was a little bit ill, tired and as a result nervous in the lead up and on the day itself.
(SAD FACE!) 😢
To be completely honest I could have found any number of reasons to postpone my talk!
But I felt the fear and did it anyway.
The basis of my presentation was simple enough.....
I spoke a little bit about my own real life experiences growing up and, quite serious, mental health struggles from a young age.
More specifically how that has informed my view growing up and shaped my approach working with people & doing the job I do today.
It's because of these struggles that I tend to find it easy to relate to and build rapport with other people who have personal, physical and mental health issues.
I'd go as far as saying I find a lot of joy in connecting with and helping someone who really is struggling and encouraging them to a better place in life.
In my talk I spoke about the fact that in my experience I can see that there are a LOT of people out in the world today struggling.
I come across people on a daily basis with personal, physical or mental health issues who want and need help.
In fact it's becoming more common that people are quite up front with me in saying that they are concerned about their own mental health and want to do something about it.
The problem is that many people are put off joining a gym.
First of all the harsh reality is that a lot of men & women who want or need help don't actually "like" the gym in the first place!
Then - whether it is true or not - there is a perception that gyms are intimidating, unhelpful & unfriendly.
People who join Evolutis tell me that they were in other gyms and felt out of place.
When they needed help it wasn't offered.
So the point I made during my talk was that "we" as fitness professionals and gym owners can and should try to change our approach.
By becoming less "alpha" and softer in our approach - to try and really focus on giving more personal attention to the people before, during & after sessions or classes.
I also spoke about the Evolutis core values such as....
- Be different
- Show kindness
- Be inclusive
- Have an impact
Above all I encouraged everyone in the audience to try and have real and meaningful interactions and conversations with people.
To build real rapport and connections.
In other words - to actually give a sh*t! :)
I finished by saying that I believe we really can help to arm people who are struggling with the tools they need to deal with the personal, physical & mental health issues they have.
Or in other words - if we get it right - we can have a profoundly positive impact on the lives of the people we work with.
And that for me is the ultimate goal for any fitness professional or gym owner.
Thanks for reading.
Chat to you soon...
David "felt the fear and did it anyway" Knowles
P.S. If you've been struggling in any way - feel free to reach out. I'd be more than happy to help or point you in the right direction.
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David Knowles is the owner, lead Coach & trainer, Dad x 5 & wannabe singer songwriter!