The Release Valve

On a black background, a white cloud of steam shoots out the side of a silver pot full of boiling water.

You’re under a lot of pressure.
Sometimes that’s good. Maybe, like me, you’re at your best when your back’s to the wall.
But you’re also a fitness professional. So you know what happens to an organism under stress. Hans Selye said it first:
“An organism under stress is in decline. Remove the stress, and the organism super-compensates. But maintain the stress and the organism continues to decline until it dies.”

Relieve Stress—Your Way

Every entrepreneur needs a release valve.
Some drink. Some cheat on a spouse. Some have other bad habits.
And some exercise.
Maybe, as a gym owner, exercise is your release valve. But more and more gym owners admit that working out in their gyms adds to their stress instead of relieves it.
I want to tell you: It’s OK to work out somewhere else.
You can go to another gym. Your members won’t quit.
You can go ride a bike. Your members won’t quit your gym to ride bikes.
You can work out in your garage. Your members won’t immediately quit your gym to build garage gyms of their own.
Last May, I walked into my gym for the noon group. I love the people in my noon group but had been forcing myself to attend for a few months.
On my way into the gym, I saw a coach’s lunch garbage spread all over the front desk. I was pissed; and then the class started two minutes late, with 10 people waiting around while one person tied their shoes.
When the workout started, I felt unmotivated. I was distracted by the work sitting in my office next door. I didn’t like the workout, and I was bored by the warmup. I started to ask myself why I was even there. That night, I dug out my bike. And I haven’t worked out in my gym since.
But membership keeps growing. None of my members said, “Screw it! I’m gonna go ride bikes with Chris!”

Self-Improvement Produces Business Improvements

If you’ve been a gym owner for a while, your gym might not be your release valve anymore. And that’s OK: It exists to be their release valve. You need a different one. As our resident psychotherapist says:
“Therapists need therapy more than anyone else because they’re carrying everyone’s shit around!”
Did my members ask where I was? Absolutely.
Did I plan to return after a short break? Definitely. But I haven’t yet.
Do I hate CrossFit? No way. I love it. I just love cycling more right now. It’s a tremendous gift to be able to choose between two things that I love.
To be a better coach, better boss and better human, you need to release the pressure. Some of that pressure comes from self-doubt; some comes from lack of clarity; some comes from guilt.
Go exercise somewhere else. You have permission. Come back happier.
Do all the right things for all the right people.
Including yourself.
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One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.