Some Thoughts While A New World Unfolds

September 15, 2021

With the Covid-19 pandemic making headlines globally, I find myself in very unfamiliar territory. Like many others across our community, I am stuck in the uncomfortable position of uncertainty. A position requiring patience, logistical thinking and the ability to look to the future without the comfort of knowing when "normal activities" will resume. Although these whirlwind days have been terrifying for many different reasons, they have been rather "eye-opening" as well.

This unprecedented challenge has brought to light weaknesses that may have not otherwise been identified had it not been for a mandated global shutdown. From the perspective of both a business owner and a local meathead, the Covid-19 crisis has required me to do what society has always done: adapt.Change is a scary concept, even scarier when the details unfolding are out of your control. We eagerly await, day in and day out, for details of progress. We wait for some smidgen of light at the end of the tunnel telling us when we can finally return to a shred of normal life. We sit patiently for our elected leaders to give us the "A-OK" from the comfort of our living rooms.

All of us asking the same question: "When can we go back?". This, I find, has been more detrimental than anything.Now, before you start going on the defensive, I'm not oblivious to the realities of  the situation. Yes, I am well aware we need to stay updated to the current state of events. Yes, I feel it is important to stay informed with new rules or regulations concerning public safety. Yes, I agree that we should listen to our government and strictly follow the measures implemented. Finally, without a doubt, I am well aware of the severity of this deadly disease and it's effects on public health. What I see to be the issue is how we dwell on uncertainty and fear the unknown. It can't be escaped it seems. Social media lights up with news updates and memes (although hilarious at times) constantly reminding us of how drastic things are. Everyday we're reminded of the climbing case count and rising death toll. Everyday we're informed of the financial distress we face and the future impact it will have on our economy. Everyday, it seems more and more hope gets lost, and with no end in sight.Here's my first thought folks. Turn off the news. That's right. TURN. IT. OFF. Don't worry, you'll hear about the latest update from someone or some source. For me, I've found myself sinking into a rather low state anytime I see reporters on TV. It's not hard to figure out why. When you become constantly bombarded by extrapolated negativity, it gets to you a bit. Being told from one hundred different people every minute of every hour that the world is falling apart doesn't do much for one's psyche. So turn it off, let it go.

You already know the situation is serious. You already know the right measures to stay safe. You already are (hopefully) actively doing the recommended protocols. You already are doing everything you can to assist in what is an extreme situation. You don't need to be overwhelmed with more of it. Let it go, give yourself a break. Stick to your guns and focus your energy in another direction.Next thought for you readers. Learn to accept what is happening. The current state of things can put one through stages of grief. Denial, anger, and certainly depression. Acceptance is the target, for only then can we move forward towards a new path. It's taken me some time to accept the current reality (still working on it really). Having to temporarily shut down Iron Performance Center was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It was hard to accept that I would close it's doors without a definitive time to re-open. Scarier yet, if that time came, could I afford to still open.

How I handled the shutdown was rather common I feel. Cracked a few beers, had an emotional night, slept it off and woke up with a slight headache. Not the best choice one might say, but anyways. After that, I had to accept a few things. First, it didn't matter how much I cursed, kicked or fussed, the coronavirus and public health officials would not care. Until Covid-19 is controlled, I'd have to deal with my doors being shut, for the good of public safety. The second was a tougher pill to swallow. Funds set aside for future growth would now be used to cushion survival. It crushed my insides to come to terms with this reality. However, I was a bit relieved to have been cautious enough in previous months to even have some oxygen. For the future, this habit is one I would definitely continue. Doing the math was bitter sweet, but our team formulated a plan to ensure the survival of the House of Hustle. To our members, rest easy. To our competitors, stay frosty. Iron Performance Center isn't going anywhere.

Don't kid yourself, I'm not the shining symbol of optimism. I still have to work daily on accepting the way things are. Like most, it's one part fear, one part panic, and one part beer. However, I found maintaining a routine has helped ease the transition. It's not perfect, but building a weekly schedule has allowed me to keep a sense of normalcy. I treat weekdays like any normal work day. Get up early, get coffee and tend to the administrative tasks at hand. Throughout the day, I work on different projects before breaking for lunch. After lunch, a couple more hours crushing content or reading before getting a workout in. After that, shower, dinner and down time. It's not perfect, but it works for me. Having that sense of structure keeps me balanced while ensuring I stay focused forward. It's helped me slowly come to terms, maybe it will work for you too.Last thought I will leave you with is something we ALL must do to get through this crisis in one piece. Adapt and grow forward. Once I was able to accept the fact that I, like many others, would be at a heavy financial loss at the end of this, I was able to let go. I was able to let go of what I had no control over and refocus on aspects I could control. My moods were like a roller coaster. I shifted from the "woe is me" mentality, to damage control. I went from "waiting for assistance" to create and solve. This shift gave me back some control of the reins. It allowed me to put plans and timelines in place while developing realistic goals for the months to come. If nothing else, it gave some purpose moving forward.So, here's where I'm at.

It's April, 2020. I have accepted the situation for what it is, put a plan in place to mitigate the damage and am looking to the future. I'm focusing on exploring weaknesses and giving myself more time to create. These slower days have allowed more time for the art of creation. Creating better video content, building fun Instagram workouts and preparing new lectures are just some of the creative tasks we're working on daily. This time has allowed me to rev up and face lift our remote services to create a better experience. Virtual Coaching is now in full swing and allowing many members to maintain their training routines from the comforts of their home. Adapting to the shutdown has allowed time to go outdoors, communicate with friends and build more meaningful relationships, things I may have taken for granted earlier. Needless to say, I'm not letting a day go by without working on something proactive.In this uncertain and challenging time, it's easy to do nothing. It's easy to sit and wait for things to change, hoping for someone to give you your life back. It's easy to dwell on hard times and curse whomever for bringing them upon you. To soak in the fear of the current world and spread it's negativity is the easiest path for anyone right now. I'm hoping you don't. I'm not saying I have the answers, nor am I saying things are going to be easy.

All I'm asking is for you to try. Try not watching the news tomorrow. Take a walk outdoors and appreciate some alone time with thoughts. Explore a new project that you may have put off for a while. Most importantly, have the courage to accept what you can't control and focus on what you can. A new world is unfolding right in front of us and it's forcing us to adapt, whether we like it or not. What I think is important is finding purpose in our new reality and being bold enough to try things differently. The world isn't over yet, the best is yet to come.