I don’t remember when I started following Jen Sinkler over Twitter, but I do remember sending her an awkward tweet about her workout pic . I was awkward, not her pic.
And after getting a funny response and a follow, I was reminded of how social this social media thing is. I’d eventually learn how powerful it is too.
After seeing some tweets about JC Deen and Rog Law’s FitSmart podcast, I saw info about an older episode with Jen on and thought it’d be interesting. An obsession with my fitness career (and a long commute) had led to me spending every free moment catching up on various podcasts.
This particular podcast centered around her leaving a stable job for her own business (definitely of personal interest) and I ended up listening to some of it while in the shower — hold on, there’s a reason I mention the shower.
After hearing “pls advise” more times than I cared to count, they ended up talking about The Movement Minneapolis and their unique biofeedback-based training philosophy. Key word for me at the time: “Minneapolis.”
My curiosity piqued, I jumped out the shower and quickly wrapped myself in a towel as to not to offend the neighbors through the window. Carefully dripping everywhere other than on my actual keyboard, I proceeded to google “Movement Minneapolis.”
Holy shit, this place is close to me.
So the emails ensued. The fact David replied at 9:50pm at night immediately was worth noting. Another fitness professional staying on top of their email at late hours…we already had something in common.
Change One Thing in the Gym, and Everything Changes
Schedules didn’t match up and I ended up taking a noon class with David shortly after the email. After proceeding to geek out after class about various fitness topics…I was hooked.
For several months after my initial exposure, my schedule allowed me to stay pretty consistent with making it before my afternoon clients. Although I had added an extra 30 to 40 minutes on my commute, I got stronger in a hurry having a separate outlet to take care of my own training. I was also able to listen to more podcasts in the car.
As Cardigan Mark whimsically states it, “change one thing in the gym, and everything changes.”
And it’s true. While I went through some of the more stressful times in my life, a catalyst had occurred. It just wasn’t obvious at the time.
A Common Interest: Coffee
Months and hundreds of jefferson deadlifts repetitions went by.
While trying to coach over 40 clients and blog during the late nights, I eventually started to help with some of the physical marketing for The Movement Minneapolis. Personally, I was frustrated with my output, but I must have made some sort of impression. Jen and Dave reached out to me, we had coffee, and I found myself saying goodbye to another group of clients.
I seriously loved working with my clients, but I wasn’t happy with my overall situation — things change, people change. I needed a change.
There’s a Point to This Story. I Think.
The typical business or personal development blog might break down what I’m trying to say in a nice and neat list. Complete with a snazzy marketing title: “10 Ways to Succeed In and Out of the Cubicle” (actually, that title is better than what you’d find on LinkedIn).
- Do this more
- Do this less
- Avoid this altogether
Screw that — I’d write it, you might read it, and not much would change.
While several tips and tricks apply to this story, I’d argue the key is understanding the lessons learned by interpreting the overall story and theme in the right context. The problem with the specific tip and trick lists is the fact we can’t see the forest for the trees when absorbing information.
Thankfully, we love stories (maybe not this one). But if you’re still reading at this point, it’s because of the dynamics of storytelling and how you interact with them. Visualization, humor and relating your own experiences to the one you’re reading make for a more powerful connection. That little thing called context.
But while we love stories, we sometimes forget what makes a good one. When you stop and think about that, it makes stomaching whatever hardship you’re going through right this second a lot easier. Without all my ups, downs and mistakes — I’d have a pretty boring story not worth telling. To myself or to others.
The Point: Continually Craft Your Story
While I’ve made mistakes (correction: metric shit-ton of mistakes) and have been ineffective in a lot of my efforts, I’m learning from them and moving forward. Forward, not letting what’s behind me mess with my head, and just leaning in. I’m also learning what is ineffective today may actually be adding up towards something later. You never know, which can make it frustrating, but it’s worth testing to find out.
It’s worth noting: I’m using the “ing” ending rather than the “ed” — I still don’t know what I’m doing and it’s a learning experience everyday. My story is dynamic and I definitely don’t know what’s in store in the future, but I do know I’m [much] happier now.
We’re surrounded by our own resistance, external distractions and the wrong expectations — but we’re also surrounded by help and a lot of cool people. Don’t forget, good characters make for a good story.
We should probably take advantage of the situation — and then tell the story to others.
And if what I’m up to now blows up in my face, I can just write a blog post about the next chapter.
*Knocks on wood*
Originally Published: May 1, 2014