I’ve worked at Mark Fisher Fitness long enough to safely say that this place is absolutely f*cking insane.
I’m in a constant state of awe from the sheer amount of infinite heart, persistence and commitment to bettering oneself that I see on a daily basis. It’s like Narnia and a Salvador Dali painting made a gym baby.
As an only child, I have a thing for mysteries, examining them from many angles in hopes of getting to the bottom of it. Naturally, that led me on my quest to sniff out more clues than Scooby-Doo with a coke habit to figure out the secret behind the magic held within the Clubhouse walls.
And what better way to find out what makes the unicorn tick than talking directly with members of the Ninja Army, the ones who power Unicorpia?
Here are a few of their most important lessons.
1. Focus on the journey, not the destination.
In the quest for health and hotness, it’s easy to get caught up in the end result – that sweet, shiny pot of leprechaun gold at the end of the rainbow.
Instead of viewing our actions (even those that are proven to lead to success) as something to, at best, blissfully embrace and enjoy and, at worst, something that we can learn from, we often see them as an annoyance, an aggravating road bump in the way of our destination.
Before joining MFF ranks, all-star Ninja Lisa Whalen found herself trapped in a similar mindset that can plague any of us if we’re not mindful.
During her time swinging kettlebells, deadlifting and crawling around like a bear, Lisa continued to act in spite of bouts of self-doubt, teaching herself a powerful lesson that helped transform her entire life.
“Now, I have completely banished that thinking, realizing that this practice as an ongoing part of my life is the destination so I am just enjoying each day and how I contribute to my health each day as the goal.”
Seeing our goals as a North Star-esque beacon that gives us something to aim for and take action towards, not a destination on which we pin all of our hopes, dreams and sense of self-worth, helps us see that right at this very moment we are already whole.
When that becomes the lens that we filter the world with, life becomes not something that we live to get something from, but something we engage with to become something through.
2. Belief Is Bae
Beliefs are the operating system that power the computer that we run on, fueling every action that we take.
When our beliefs are in line with our actions, we experience a sense of trust and confidence that is second to none. However, when our beliefs and actions clash like a square dildo and a round hole, it’s hard to steer towards living the life that we truly desire.
There was a time during her fitness journey when the powerful Ninja Bess Fifer viewed her strength as something to fear.
“I’ve always been ‘naturally strong,’ and as a bigger girl I was afraid of that – strong was big.”
Her belief system was one that told the story of her strength being a negative.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
Every meal prepped and step taken slowly hacked away at her old belief system, and every class taken and personal record set helped erect a new, more empowering one.
“Knowing and owning my physical strength has turned all of that around. I never expected to get so much self-confidence from strength. I’m confident in my physical abilities. It feels good to know you can handle yourself or others. It’s empowering to know you can tackle the physical challenges of life.”
“I was seated by the doors on the A train and, out of the corner of my eye, I see an older gentleman with a walker making his way towards the doors. I saw what was coming and when the door chimed I stuck my left (non-dominant) arm out through the bars and grabbed the closing doors backhanded. I calmly held the doors open that way until the man had made his way into the car. Only after when my adrenaline was still pumping did I realize what I had actually just physically done.”
Beliefs and how we see ourselves influence the thoughts that we have, which in turn drive the actions that we take (or don’t).
And what’s a sure-fire way to begin the process of upgrading your beliefs? According to Tom Bilyeu, Co-Founder of Quest Nutrition, it’s simple (but not necessarily easy) with this gem of self-talk: “I am the kind of person that (insert the belief you want to have about yourself here).”
Then it becomes a matter of supporting this belief through small, daily action, becoming that which you act towards creating. In the process we not only change our own lives, but we also impact the world around us in a positive way.
3. There’s More Than One Path To Fitness Glory
Oftentimes when we’re hell-bent on achieving a goal, we grit our teeth and focus on one single metric at the expense of all others. (i.e. “I want to lose weight so I’m going to focus only on the number that the scale says.”)
This worshiping of one piece of data can create what I call the “Happy Baby/Sad Baby” dynamic.
When the result of your one metric smiles upon you, all is right in your world, but when it doesn’t you might be left crying in the corner in the fetal position throwing a tantrum, with your sense of self-worth taking a giant hit.
Champion of all things sexy and strong, studly Ninja Sean Carney managed to find more than one way to measure his progress and, more often than not, find himself in the realm of Happy Baby.
“Some days I know I’m progressing because of how I move and on other days I know I’m progressing because of my attitude. On other days it’s because I’ve learned something new and applied it to my workout.
“Yes, weight size is a barometer, but it’s really the least important.”
Lisa also found another way to view and measure her progress:
“I have thrown away the belief that a number on a scale is the total measure of my value as a human being. I lived this value system for 25 years and now I barely use it because I have muscles now and that may actually make that number be higher while I am actually smaller (read: leaner). So buh byeeeeee, scale. Strong women do not need that shit AT ALL.”
4. The Magic is in the Community
Without the Ninja Army, we’re nothing but a bunch of walls and some heavy-ass weights.
The community that the Ninjas create is their greatest strength and something that every single person I spoke to highlighted as a factor in their success.
“Be prepared to meet that most amazing amount of friends you will ever encounter – extraordinary humans, trainers, Ninjas – everyone who is drawn to the crazy unicorn cult is a person you want in your life” – Lisa Whalen
“Show up. Get yourself in the door. Once you are there, the magic of the Ninja Army will take over. Give what you can to others. If you can’t, don’t worry and take what you need.” – Bess Fifer
“Don’t just stick to one trainer. Each trainer is going to have a style and way of training/educating that contains aspects that resonate. You can and should learn from all of the resources at your disposal. Mix it up and take their collective knowledge, apply what works and resonates with you, and grow.” – Sean Carney
If you’re a veteran Ninja or one who just signed up today, thank you for being a part of our tribe.
If you know that there’s more to your life than where you’re currently at but you still feel stuck, we welcome you with open arms and can’t wait to bring you into our loving and ridiculous fold.
WANNA LEARN MORE ABOUT JOINING THE NINJA ARMY?
SIGN UP HERE for a free, one-hour Health and Hotness Strategy Session with a genuine (and probably slightly weird) human being from the MFF team.