Why You Don’t Want To Be The Fittest Person in the Room

I certainly don’t mean the title of this article literally.  Of course we all want to be the best that we can be.  But hear me out.  I recently read an article titled “If You’re The Smartest Person in the Room, You’re in the Wrong Room”.  Some people might read that heading and think, “why wouldn’t you want to be the smartest person in the room?”  I guess it’s not all bad if people are constantly looking to you to solve problems and come up with answers.  When I read the title of the article, I immediately knew what it meant.  The point of the article was this:  If you are always the smartest person in the room, who are you going to learn from?  Who is going to challenge you, push you, and help you grow?

The same can be said about athletics and fitness.  Many of you who are reading this blog spend your time motivating, educating, and encouraging others.  This might not leave you with the time or opportunity to find someone who can challenge you.   Whether that means they are more knowledgeable, fitter, faster, stronger – whatever it might be – we’re talking about someone who can help you get better.  It’s not easy to find them.  If we can track them down, they can become the catalyst to inspiring, motivating, and moving us.  So, while we might all want to be the fittest person in the room, it’s o.k. if we are not.  As long as we are open to growth and development, that’s the most important part.  Because, if we allow it, we can learn something from those people who are!   Enter 8th Day Gym.

I took a trip today with my co-workers to a local facility called 8th Day Gym. My first reaction to the place was that it reminded me of my high school weight room.  Nothing fancy, but everything you need to get it done if you are looking to get better physically and mentally.  While we were there, a class was just getting started, but one of the owners was nice enough to take time with us.  He gave us some background and told us a little bit about the origin of the gym and their philosophy.  While they are a Crossfit affiliated gym, they still have their own approach and style creating a unique atmosphere.  It’s still a relatively young facility, adapting and growing to support a thriving business.

When I asked them what they are looking for in their coaches, the answer was basically this: they are looking for knowledgeable people who are passionate and willing to learn. They aren’t so much interested in the traditional certifications that many places require.  More importantly, they want people who know their hands-on stuff and can apply it while coaching others to get better. I can completely appreciate where they are coming from.  I certainly encourage structured education, and certifications when/if necessary, but nothing can replace the hands-on skills that are necessary to be successful in an athletic setting.  Too many students are coming out of school with textbook knowledge and no ability to put it into practice.

I enjoyed the visit and appreciate the owner’s philosophy and approach.  I can say with absolute certainty that I was far from the fittest person in the room.  But now I want to be.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in improving their health, well-being, fitness or performance to consider checking it out.   You might just find that, for once, you aren’t the fittest person in the room either!

Thanks to the owners at 8th Day Gym for having us!



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