As a coach and owner of a fitness centre Saturday 15th October made me very happy. When Kevin and I opened MPA it was with the intentions of providing health & fitness to many people but with a very important point of making health & fitness enjoyable. I’ve talked before about how gyms can be designed to offer low risk, low effect, low results; ‘boring’ repetitive training and that is something we most definitely did not want to be involved in.

When new members or anybody venturing into our club tells us their desires it is usually (90% of the time) along the lines of wanting to improve appearance and we try to help with that but if we can we let that become a nice side effect of other activities and interests then that is the best option and that is what was special about 15/10/2016.

Constantly trying to improve certain parts of our bodies often leads to dismay and feelings of despair when we don’t improve them as rapidly as we would like. Comments like “Oh what’s the point? I’ve been at this six weeks now and still my waistline is the same size” are not uncommon and when they become more frequent then giving up exercise often follows.

Following that mindset is not encouraged by us because it has no real value. You’re not suddenly going to become happy if your waist shrinks or your arms get bigger. It isn’t the end result that will make you smile.

It is the journey to that destination!

On Saturday 15th October we had two groups from MPA that were fully involved in their journeys. One was the Kettlebell Sport team competing in the Grassroots League which is a series of low key KB events aimed at getting new people involved in the sport. We had two newbies from our club plus some of the regulars and it was a wonderful success. Many personal bests were chalked up that day day giving such a great sense of wellbeing and achievement, togetherness, pride and further ambition. The members of our team plus the others that travelled to us found something new they enjoyed and it was something positive, healthy and active.

The other group from MPA Fitness took part in Rough Runner. A team of eleven completed Rough Runner 10k which is a race inspired by TV game shows like Showbox Movies, Total Wipeout, Gladiators and Ninja Warrior. Taking on fifteen of their challenges, most of which were water based were so exciting and everyone was thoroughly soaked by the end! The final challenge of getting up the Travelator at the finish line was incredible and it was great to see a couple of our team really stepping out of their comfort zones as they had never ran a race before, let alone anything that extreme.

What was so special about the Saturday in question is that we are now seeing a culture of participating in sport and that can only be a good thing. Everyone would have been on a high for the rest of the weekend and goodness comes from that high e.g. more likely to eat and drink well (mind you that depends on post race parties) and an eagerness to find the next event.

All thoughts of body parts and what we look like are forgotten but if we keep enjoying our movement then they appear as a very welcome added bonus.