This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Coach Christopher Sommer, creator of Gymnastic Bodies, to a master class at Awaken Gymnastics in Denver. I first met Coach Sommer in December of 2013 at a seminar and was instantly hooked on gymnastic strength training. The two-day master class was designed to coach some of his best and brightest adult gymnastic students (most of us are still waaaay behind his six-year old trainees). Coach Sommer’s credentials speak volumes about his expertise in the field. In short, he is a proven world-class gymnastics coach and motivator.
We came from all over the world to train with Coach- Australia, Singapore, Canada, England, Sweden, and Norway. The quality of athletes was amazing, but more importantly, the quality of human beings I met were beyond my expectations. These were all extremely motivated individuals with tremendous knowledge in their respective fields. They came with a voracious appetite for even more. This hunger wasn’t just for their own growth- they came to learn and spread newfound knowledge. In this regard, our passion is what tied us all together. What I learned from each individual was more than worth the price of admission.
A small group of us decided to rent a house together. I arrived 3 days early to take classes at Awaken and meet my roommates. We all hit it off immediately. In the days to come, these were the young men and women I would be training with, sweating with, gasping for air with, sharing meals with. Every individual had something to offer. We motivated each other to work harder, go longer, be mentally stronger. This was an environment for success led by Coach Sommer and his amazing staff.
I have previously written about success and how environment is a key factor to attaining it. In reality, we can’t always surround ourselves with like-minded individuals to help push us past our previous limits. True motivation, much like happiness, has to come from within. Regardless, your environment is a key cog in your journey to achieving your ultimate goals. This was such an environment.
There will always be negative influences around us- music, movies, TV, our own negative thoughts and mind movies- even our friends and family can deter us from our goals if we’re not careful. That is a reality you must accept. What can you do about it? Growth comes from struggle, from the road less traveled because it’s too hard for 99% of the population. Coach Sommer’s messages were clear:
“You should earn the right to be comfortable.”
“Don’t let twenty seconds (of fatigue) hold you back from your dream.”
“There is always room for another stud.”
“Take the (negative) emotion out of your training.”
Average people seek comfort, but the ELITE seek discomfort, challenge. How else will you grow? Struggle is important. Wiser messages were never communicated and these lessons did not fall on deaf ears or hearts. Open yourself to new experiences, get out of your comfort zone, and seek more than average- be better than average. After all, you only have this one life to live. Why not live the hell out of it? Find your passion and earn it. Be the best in a sea of mediocrity, not wasted potential.
My time at the Master Class was both enlightening and humbling. It was a brutal reminder to move forward everyday. This is my passion and the message I strive to send to not just my clients, but also my friends. I will never forget my time in Denver under Coach Sommer, Coach Langman, and his wonderfully motivating staff. In the end, it’s not about being better than those around you- it’s about being better than you were yesterday. Shout out to my fellow GB Affiliates and enthusiasts. I can’t wait to see you all again. I love you all from my deepest core.
*Below is a list of some of the people I met and their websites. Click on the links below and train with them if you’re ever in their neighborhood. They have massive amounts of knowledge and expertise, but more importantly, a true sense of empathy and compassion. I don’t endorse what I don’t believe in. Neither does Coach.
• Josee Fillon, Caveman Strong (Ontario)
• Eric Daye, Trugritfitness (Toronto)
• Keegan Smith, CoachKeegan.com (Australia)
• Wesley Tan, Flexible Strength (England)
• Daniel Chan, BodyTree Gymnastic Strength Training (Singapore)