Getting By with a Little Help from Your Friends | Mark Fisher Fitness

Getting By With A Little Help From Your Friends

Ninja Clubhouses are not for everybody. Not everybody wants to take their fitness with a helping of community. (Or profanity. Or glitter.)

I totally get that. By nature I have always been, and will always be, an introvert. I know this may seem contradictory. After all, I have been totally naked in public, I do speak to large groups of people pretty regularly, and I have a job that requires me to be “on” much of the time.

But the reality is, when left to my own devices, I like to do my own thing. Maybe it was growing up in a big family in a very small house, but “me” time has always been super important. I have an almost compulsive need for autonomy and independence that, to be entirely frank, has not always served me.

Take fitness. For many years, I did my own thing. I read every magazine I could get my hands on and then went in the gym and focused totally on myself. The gym was not social time. It was “me” time.

In retrospect, I probably looked like a dick.

I was usually scowling and generally seeking to avoid eye contact. I never hired a trainer (though I probably should have). With the exception of college, I never had a training partner. I liked to be able to rely on myself and not have to count on anyone for anything.

While I still understand this impulse, I also have a vantage point now to see how much I impeded my own progress.

Fun Fact #1: A group of unicorns is called a “blessing.”

Fun Fact #2: I honestly have no fucking clue where this unicorn shit came from. Ninjas seem to dig it and it is authentically ridiculous, so I’m just running with it.

Now I’m not an unintelligent fellow, and it’s easy to become educated about something when it’s a passion. I got pretty good results by studying my ass off and working my ass off. But in all honesty…I would have been better off if I had trained in a Ninja Clubhouse.

Study after study shows the key to ongoing fitness success is social support. This is part of why the group model is so effective. Not only does it make training more fun, it makes you accountable. If you’re working out with your friends, they notice if you’re not coming.

And obviously, all realms of human achievement benefit from the outside eye and feedback of a skilled coach. The journey to health and hotness is far faster if you have someone guiding you through the inevitable moments of frustration and confusion.

I’m now many years into my own fitness journey. What I perceived as strength in my “lone wolf” years was just fear wrapped up in bacon. I though I was stronger for doing it myself.

Nope. I was stubborn.

I was stubborn and afraid of getting feedback. Afraid of facing my own patterns of self-sabotage. Afraid of finding out that what was convenient or safe was not always the best path to my fitness goals.

As Brene Brown says, your vulnerability is the most accurate measurement of courage.  Sometimes it’s fucking scary to be vulnerable and open yourself up. (“What if the other kids don’t like me? What if the trainers are mean? What if the unicorns bite?”) It’s hard to put yourself out there, say you need help, and rely on other folks for guidance and support.

But here’s the headfuck. You ARE vulnerable. No matter what.

No one does anything alone in this world. Whether you like it or not, your physical survival is based on an epic, interconnected industrial complex.

I reject the myth of the lone wolf. It’s comforting, and it makes us feel cool and bad ass, like we’re riding a motorcycle into the sunset. But there’s no such fucking thing. We’re all in this together.

If you really want success in any realm of human achievement, get comfortable opening yourself up to others. Yes. Sometimes it’s not gonna be fun. Sometimes you’re gonna get drop kicked in the fucking heart. But it’s far better to bleed than live a partial life.

Sometimes we have Disney day at MFF.  Just because!

If you’re waffling on your fitness goals, perhaps you need some guidance to insure you’re using the best practices possible. If you know what to do, but are having trouble making it happen, maybe you need to find some social support.

There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for the MFF Team and Ninja Army. I think I can speak for all of us when we say we’re overjoyed to have found each other, and to be able to get after our fitness goals in a supportive and nurturing environment.

But as we often say, Mark Fisher Fitness is not for everyone. That’s not lip service. Obviously I think our methods and results are industry-leading, but you may be a better fit for another fitness culture. Unicorns may not be your thing, I get it.

But if you’re slogging away on your own, hitting the gym and doing the machines, I PROMISE you, you will be better off finding someway to join a community and get coaching. Maybe it’s just with a personal trainer to keep you accountable and guide your training. Maybe it’s with another type of group class environment that’s a little more hardcore than MFF, or a group class environment that’s a little more staid and less ridiculous.

Regardless, the point stands. None of us are ever as good as all of us. On the journey to health and hotness, we all benefit from community. If you think you’re a ridiculous human who is finally ready to get serious about fitness, I’ll be at the Ninja Clubhouse. Kicking it with my Ninjas. I may or not be wearing pants. See ya soon.


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Mark Fisher is the co-owner and Ninja Master of Mark Fisher Fitness, one of the most successful gyms in the history of the fitness industry. Within its first five years, MFF grew from a single personal trainer to a staff of over 35, more than 800 members, and two studios in Manhattan, earning it a spot in on the prestigious Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. Mark also likes cursing, musical theater, and writing in third person. For more awkward self-talk, see markfisherhumanbeing.com

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