Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joni Mitchell Never Lies…

You know the old adage that change is the only constant in life? Well, it’s never rung more true to me than during the course of this past week. As most of you out there are aware, Alive experienced a flood in their Holy Cross Centre location last Tuesday night. As we ran around the gym grabbing computer equipment, paperwork and the occasional random pair of boxing gloves we were pretty shocked at the speed the flooding was happening and overwhelmed by all the work that was going to need to be done to get the space back in working order, but never could we have imagined the punches we were going to have to roll with as the week went on.

If you didn’t know how resilient the Alive team was before, there should be no doubt in your mind now. Within a matter of hours of the flooding Holly had secured an alternative location to run classes and training sessions while the repairs took place. However, as cleanup got underway, more bad news was brewing. On Thursday it was announced that the Holy Cross building was unsalvageable and that Alive would no longer be able to continue operating out of the space they had called home for the last number of years. Understandably, the team was pretty rocked by this turn of events, but as a client, I can say that I’ve never been more proud of them or impressed by their ingenuity and creativity during this rough period. I always knew that our trainers were some of the best in the city, but this situation has really allowed their strengths to shine like never before.

While it was beyond gracious for Chas and the staff at Results to allow us to inhabit (or should we say, overrun?!) their space for a few days, the studio is quite different from Alive and the space presented a few challenges in terms of layout and equipment. While this kind of change could have caused a lot of difficulties and brought out the worst in a lot of trainers, not so for Team Alive. In one particular session, Kate and Damir were surprised to find out that there was also a Spin/TRX class happening in the space, but without hesitation Kate lead her group of ladies through an intensive kickboxing class in one corner and Damir built an entire hour-long program around a 7x7 L shape to keep me sufficiently tortured. I don’t think I can adequately put it into words, but these guys just stepped up when the situation called for it and made it work. All that mattered was taking care of their clients and I think everyone will agree that they did an outstanding job and for that we will always be grateful for their composure under pressure. Ben even managed to lead a Saturday morning kickboxing class without so much as a boxing glove—if that’s not thinking on your feet, I don’t know what is?

I think we all will also agree that even before we were faced with this adversity we knew that we were part of a pretty special little community. But Joni Mitchell was right, you really don't know what you've got till it's gone. Alive isn't just a gym, however, and as other members like Kristy and Brian have suggested, it is a whole lot more than the walls it was confined in. Yes, it is absolutely sad to think that we won't be returning to that space we have all logged so many hours of hard work in, but here's the silver lining: We now have the privilege of experiencing a brand-spanking new facility at 2110.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am not exactly enthusiastic going into my workouts, but after seeing this space and all that it has to offer, I can say that I have never been more excited to have my ass handed to me by Damir than I am for tonight! That could be the first sign of a true workout nerd developing, though, so I'm gonna keep my eye on these symptoms.

Even beyond this incredible opportunity we have all been given, while we are pushing ourselves to the max on all this exciting new equipment, Alive will find a new space and rebuild—bigger and better than ever. Another glimmer of hope is that the training team is able to stick together and, therefore, so will the entire Alive Team and that fact alone takes a lot of the stress and worry out of all this change.

Change is scary, but there is no getting around it in this case scenario. In the words of Lemony Snicket, "Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like." There is a bigger picture thing happening here for Alive and, in my opinion, the future has never looked brighter. While we don't have to like the changes we are facing and we may even whine about it a bit, but ultimately, we will just lean into each other and make the best of it (kind of like we had to do on the "Hill of Hell" last night when we couldn't find adequate space for boot camp). A high five and a wink go a long way my friends, so let's keep the positivity coming and we make our way to 2110. See you all there soon!

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