As I sit here at the Amsterdam airport, my first post-Covid international trip, I can’t help but think to myself, ”What has happened to the world? Are we never going back to where we were? Did the way we see fitness changed forever?”.
Today marks exactly a year since we first closed gyms in NYC due to Covid-19. What seemed to be a preventative closure, turned into a whole new world and restrictions we could never imagine. What has really happened to fitness industry in the past 365 days and why is no one talking about it?
After a month or so of closure, you could see every fitness professional, trainer, basically anyone with some sort of fitness knowledge, took their computer or phone and start streaming workouts online. People started working out outdoors. Something no one ever thought about before. For me it was a smooth transition. Having family overseas (and being a travel junky) kept me physically away often and my clients were used to virtual training.
Adaptability. What seemed to be the most valuable asset for all of us was adaptability. The more you could adapt the more successful you were. But isn’t this something we already knew? Adaptation has been part of human evolution for thousands of years yet no one talked about it before. At least not to the extend we are today. Adaptation got us where we are today as human species. Did we just get lazy and comfortable? Probably. I can’t say for sure, however I can tell you that if you were lazy or struggled to accept the change, you probably had a very hard year. I believe what happened to fitness industry in the past year was inevitable. It just happened in a year instead of 5. And that is a tough concept to accept so quickly.
As the quarantine months went by (and they went by slow), people either got lazier or found alternative options on the internet to motivate themselves to keep moving. WFH is not as cool as we all thought. If you are like me, there were days (pre-Covid) when I said to myself: “I wish I could work from home.” Yeah, not so fun anymore when you have to figure everything out. Kitchen table becomes an office desk, your dining chair is your workout equipment, bottle of wine is a dumbbell and your couch just turned into your bedroom…because your partner is working from home as well and you have to be in the other room. And for everyone reading this with kids…I can’t even imagine. You have all my respect for making it.
Future. That brings me to next questions. Is virtual training the new normal for personal training? Is streaming workouts new way for fitness instructors to teach classes? Are people really stepping away from human interaction? Probably not in in our lifetime. But 2-3 generations from today? Most likely. We all heard before that traveling opens your horizon and perspective. Traveling overseas brought a new perspective of the pandemic for me. Seeing how affected people are, how governments are taking different yet similar approaches no matter where on the globe you are, makes you think: “Is this really happening?” As much as I try to make sense of everything, I struggle to do so. Dealing with the pandemic is out of our control and it shouldn’t affect us. What we can control, is how we adjust to this “new normal”.
The more I thought about starting workout classes online, the more it didn’t sit right with me. I always believed that engaging in any kind of physical activity, especially personal training requires in-person attention. Especially if you have minimal knowledge about fitness and human anatomy. After working with 100+ clients, I can say for sure that not a single client is the same. Even if we take fitness goals away, there are pre-existing conditions or injuries, mobility restrictions, personalities, schedule, determination, consistency, level of self-motivation, etc. All these factors make every client unique. As trainers and fitness professionals, we have to understand that and have the skill to adjust accordingly. I always believed in quality over quantity and living with a thought that someone got hurt while using my program, because they can not properly execute the exercise due to lack of mobility, would take hours of my sleep. And if you know me, you know I love my sleep.
Family above all. I wanted to write this, because I am noticing that more often than not, people follow the trend, but not look at what they really want and what makes them happy. In the last 365 days, we have all been introduced to handful of new standards, procedures
and ways of living our life. When things are taken away from us, we usually find what really matters. I know we have all adopted in the best way we could. For me, just to be able to see my family and friends (after 15 months) meant the world to me. Although I had to conclude 6 COVID tests, had my friends take care of my new puppy (#myfriendsarebetterthanyours) and experienced multiple anxiety attacks to avoid test results being negative, I would do it all over again. Because home keeps me grounded and for me family always comes first. If I have learned something from this pandemic is that I will stay true to what I love and what makes me happy. I will continue to spread the knowledge and love to everyone I surround myself with. Thank you for reading 🙂