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Are You Playing the Game "In the Trenches?"

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Jarod CogswellJarod Cogswell

The alarm sounds off at 4:30AM. It's a Saturday and almost game time. The facility opens at 6AM, but before my feet hit the floor, I must complete my pre-game ritual to increase my chances to win the day. I have to be the source of positive energy for every member that I encounter and the ritual to give me "my edge" looks like this:

  1. 1. 7 hours of sleep. Wake up an hour early.
  2. 2. Get your mind right. Who are you going to be today in any given situation?
  3. 3. Make your bed. Admiral McRaven said, "If you want to change the world, it starts by making your bed."
  4. 4. Get inspired. Review weekly goals. Take ten minutes to read or listen to something inspiring and motivational.
  5. 5. Move that body. Activate your mind, body and spirit. Run, lift, stretch... Just move.

I consistently follow this regimen every morning after I wrote a business book titled, WORK like an Athlete... Championship Training For The Game of Business. It contains just about every mistake I've made in the fitness industry, and the concept is about bringing one's A-game each day to the job to become a champion business athlete.

Success begins with passion and purpose. I remember being in the trenches when I was a young trainer and Front Desk Attendant. Waking up early, driving in the dark, the heat finally warming up my vehicle by the time I arrived at the club, unlocking the doors, running to the alarm panel before it sounded off, turning on the lights, the machines, the music and other opening tasks. More than 20 years and many gray hairs later, here I am doing it all over again. The fact is: I love this game today just as I did back then!

However, like other professional careers, there have been highs and lows. It was just few years ago, I was a long-time General Manager of an ultra-successful fitness resort wearing slacks and a business shirt every day to work. Yes, I said slacks, and did I really say the word, "work?" What? I never viewed fitness as work! I realized I had become someone I didn't like... a manager. What happened to that trainer kid? I was no longer really in the trenches and realized that I had lost my purpose and my passion. The fun of the fitness game was lost, and so was I.

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