One of the things I absolutely love about working at MFF is the willingness to celebrate. This is something I am obsessed with and something I see happen every single day. Not only do I love to watch celebration, but I also deeply believe in its importance for a better life and world. The beauty is that it’s not only the MFF team I see celebrate, but the Ninjas as well. We celebrate big moments of PRs and weight loss or gain, and the seemingly small victories of merely showing up on the tough days.
Putting yourself on the line physically is difficult. It opens you up emotionally, and can bring up things you may have deep inside. That is the beauty of training. We often talk about how you can see someone’s soul by watching them train. I believe this to be true. Coming into the Clubhouse gives us this opportunity. It gives us the chance to truly be vulnerable and to cheer life’s big and small victories.
Celebrating not only feels good in the moment, but it also helps create excitement and maintain momentum (TWEET THAT SHIT!). There is always something to celebrate at MFF. I see the Ninjas giddy with excitement the first time they deadlift their body weight. When our trainers help celebrate that its important for a genuine acknowledgement of a great feat, and just as important for helping them be excited to come back again. I love watching when someone is out of pain and able to do things they never thought they would do. When our brilliant team expresses to them how big of a deal that is with a hug or high 5, it is awesome! The Ninjas who are able to put on weight with bulging muscles and celebrating them wearing tank tops and tight jeans is a big deal. The smiles they get when trainers and Ninjas alike marvel at their new physiques is awesome. And the oftentimes wry smiles and quiet moments of “Hey guess what? I’m down 10 lbs.” This is typically met with a complete lack of ability to keep it low-key when everyone around them claps and cheers them on with enthusiasm. These cheers encourage us to continue on our path and feel good about the progress we’ve had.
The Ninjas really do some awesome shit. Recently I watched the humility of Ninjas cheering each other on when their shows have been nominated for Tony awards, when they themselves have been left out of the same awards. Every day I watch the front desk team give hugs and high fives to Ninjas who come to train after stressful days, and show up anyway. I also experience the team sending each other e-mails complimenting on a job well done. From thank you cards and posts on social media this is a team unafraid to celebrate each other.
From the very beginning of Snatched in 6 weeks we have had our Snatched Wrap parties. Everyone looks forward to these. It is a night of hugs, smiles and happy tears. The Ninjas look forward to putting on their tightest clothes and to tell each other how damn sexy they look. The team gets more hugs and Thank Yous than one can imagine. I know for me there is always a moment of “wow, we are here and this is really still happening”. I usually find a moment to smile at Mark, Kyle, and Michael to celebrate the journey of the last 2 and a half years.
I see the importance of celebrating each other and I certainly feel it myself. When MFF trainer Geoff Hemingway bragged on my strength with kettlebells and we high-fived, that moment of celebration has stuck with me. The days I haven’t wanted to train, I remember that moment and it keeps me motivated and I show up. I loved hearing about Harold, who is strong as hell, was again doing deadlifts without pain (with a very low weight) for the first time in a long time. and felt great about it. Every week at our MFF team meetings we go around and talk about each other and the awesome things that we have done. We give a shout out to our business team and their amazing work, to trainers teaching awesome classes and sessions, and to Ninjas celebrating milestones. And we always try to rejoice in the great things in each other’s lives outside of the gym. It ends the previous week and starts the new week perfectly.
Anytime I think about MFF and the impact we are having, I am constantly thinking about the rest of our Ninjas’ lives. The other 23 hours of the day we don’t see them. I think about the first time someone may take their shirt off at the beach. I think about Ninjas carrying lots of groceries home, up flights of stairs and not having to stop and not getting winded. I think about dancers who dance better, parents who carry their children more easily and the single person who has now gained enough confidence to sign back up for a previously intimidating dating website. This is who we are— a community that recognizes how awesome these things are, and has the love to celebrate in each other’s accomplishments.
So, I ask you: What are you celebrating? Who are you celebrating with? And how are you doing it? Give it a shot. Make it genuine and authentic and see what happens.