“No Man is an Island”- 1624 English Poet John Donne.
You’ve all probably heard this quote used in a variety of different contexts and situations, but the more time I spend working in a “single member LLC” the more I realize how important human interaction and collaboration is. I use the phrase “single member LLC” loosely because even though I’m solely responsible for my personal business, I get the opportunity to interact with several individuals each day with skill sets, visions, and perspectives different from my own. This all happens daily at a place I like to call a wellness “think tank”, the Fitness Clinic of Indy.
Anomalies Lead to Innovation
To me, innovation comes from seeking anomalous activity lying within things we’ve accepted as the status quo. Working in an environment in which I can pursue my own interests and how they apply to the benefit of my clients is truly one of the greatest gifts in my professional life. Observing something one of my colleagues, Debbie Moore (of MooreFit LLC), is doing with one of her clients that I had never previously thought of is one of those things that probably wouldn’t happen in a traditional gym. Usually, in a gym with a traditional hierarchy, the personal trainers all adhere to guidelines and visions of the owner, manager, or other corporate leadership. My thought is the bigger your collection of talent, the more innovational potential that group possesses. But, if they are all forced down a relatively narrow train of thought in their approach to personal training, your chances of stumbling upon a better way of doing things are drastically diminished.
Just the other day, another colleague of mine, Jameson Brock (of JB Performance), and I did a partner workout in which we went back and forth creating different exercises (or at least things we hadn’t previously seen, not saying they’re completely unique). In the process, we developed a few different modifications of current exercises that might prove to help our own clientele in a way not previously possible.
Of course, doing things because they are new or different, just for the sake of being new or different, is in my opinion, going about things in the wrong way (or just a way I don’t believe in). Besides serving as a talking point amongst peers or garnering attention due to its novelty, unless a particular “new” exercise provides more utility to the person performing it than a previous version, it might as well be a new fad diet.
“Hey guys, check out this new single-leg, blindfolded, multi-planar rotational deadlift variation”, is the exercise equivalent of a diet consisting of only finely minced, oven roasted, cajun spiced, organic, gluten-free almonds (probably available at Whole Foods for thirty dollars a pound).
Folks, the deadlift is great by itself just like the almond is, let’s not out think the room here.
Collaboration is a Great Way to Learn
The body is a lot like the mind in that every single person has their own unique way of interpreting information, learning, and reproducing that information. Instead of information, the body interprets and/or learns an observed or instructed movement and figures out a way to reproduce. I like to tell some of my younger clients that discovering a new movement pattern is a lot like flipping the page and learning a new math formula. In both instances, the movements and information stick a whole lot better when the person learning them understands why they are important or necessary.
Sometimes, a client might be structurally (skeletal) unstable. Whether something is out of alignment due to an acute trauma or an occupational hazard (sitting 8 hours a day at a desk) causes a chronic issue, they are in need of a service that neither I nor the other trainers can provide. Having a guy like Dr. Chuck Kutch (of Primal Chiro), a world class Chiropractor, available for consultations, adjustments, and on the spot recommendations is something that also contributes to this collaborative and innovative environment. This blog wasn’t intended to be just a shout out to my colleagues, but it is turning into something like that, mainly because I just think my colleagues are freaking awesome. In my highly biased opinion, the Fitness Clinic of Indy and its cohort are one hell of a “NOW, That’s What I Call Music” of exercise professionals.
Our “Island” is Pretty Sweet
Being able to show up to an environment in which I could potentially have a brainstorming sesh with any combination of a human performance specialist, chiropractor, pilates instructor, spinning instructor, group training specialist, physical therapist, massage therapist, boxing instructor, bodybuilding coach, functional movement specialist, or active release specialist, is unbelievable. But believe it, not only do I get to interact with all of these people every day, but they are all good hearted dynamos who care about so much more than getting a client to lose a pound.
We are a diverse bunch of professionals, and because of that diversity, we are able to collaborate, create, and innovate for the betterment of this little pocket on the north side of the circle city.
Yours in Wellness,
Prevention over Treatment