Why I Love Micheal Leaving Class Early

Wednesday night, before the storms hit, we were three-quarters of the way through the main portion of our session when Micheal put his bells down, said goodbye to his friends, put on his shoes and went home - and I loved it.

I'm sure you're wondering, why on earth did you like one of your clients not finishing his session and leaving early?  It's only a 35-minute program! Well, we'll get to that...

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, then by now you will have figured out that our goals for the gym are kind of simple. We want people to be a part of a friendly community that is focused on promoting long-term health. Not just physical health, we want our people to be well mentally, emotionally and physically!

We use a few elements to get to this.  Firstly, we focus on training in a way that leaves us with plenty of room for error.  If we can train with great technique and with enough gas left in the tank for us to be focused on maintaining that technique, then we are much more likely to maintain healthy muscles and joints throughout our training.

Secondly, we focus on having a great community.  This means that having people like Micheal who want to be there, who enjoy the relaxed environment, and who like to laugh are critical.  Alongside that, we try and frequently go and do fun things - get burgers, go to the beach, hopefully in the near future, go bouldering at another wonderful local space (Arte Suave - beautiful community if you have a chance to check it out and are interested in Jiu Jitsu).

Finally, we put a high priority on consistency.  We firmly believe that if people can consistently show up, then their long-term outcomes will be very impressive.  I read a quote somewhere recently (I don't know where probably James Clear or Dan John) and the gist of the quote was that people tend to overestimate what they can do in a week, but underestimate what they can achieve in a year.  A tiny shift either positively or negatively repeated on a daily basis will result in a massive shift by the end of the year, and then a dramatically larger shift by the end of the decade.  There is some research that suggests that most people have stable weight throughout the year, but that they gain around half a kilo of weight on average during the Christmas holidays each year.  This doesn't seem like a lot, but if you were really happy with your weight when you finished high school then gained half a pound every year, by the time you're thirty-seven, assuming you've not had any major events that add extra weight to the system, you'll be 10 kgs heavier.  If at thirty-seven you resolved to lose 100 g per week most weeks, then you could still gain half a kilo around Christmas, and be back to your high school weight in less than three years. We are talking about tiny numbers, but we are looking at incredible results. 

So why do I love Micheal leaving early? Because it means that even though he had somewhere that he had to be later that evening, he made the time to maintain his habit.  By being consistent he kept the tiny wins going rather than submitting to an easily avoided tiny loss. Alongside that, our community had the benefit of having his jokes and laughter in our class, and he was able to maintain the practice that keeps his quality of movement high.  He made a bunch of tiny gains that I know will mean he gets great long-term results in the future.