I was a miserable bugger.
I’d adopted the mannerisms manner small business owners think are the battle scars they need to be successful:
– Working as many hours as possible
– Not delegating
– Thinking no-one knew better than me.
The outcome of this cutting edge strategy?
My business was less successful; my customers cringed when they thought I was in a bad mood if that is they didn’t just avoid me altogether. My friends were sick of the constant whinging and griping about these self-induced issues.
I was oblivious to this, to the grumpy, short-temperedness and the resultant weight gain and a general reduction in fitness. Training had gone out of the window, no time for that, I was working too hard you see.
Why am I telling you this?
Today I had an appointment with a lady interested in our First 100 Day program. She came to the gym, apprehensive and nervous (many adults don’t do new stuff on their own, so even a simple trip to meet a guy at the gym can be a real stretch), but credit to her she came into the gym nevertheless.
What did I see?
My previous self; sitting opposite me!
The lady in question has spent the last 5 years pulling split shifts 0900-1300 then 2100-0100, sleeping maybe 5 hours a day, still running a household and managing a family.
The result of this was unhappiness, irritation, short-temperedness, constant niggles and sniffles that never really went away. Uneasy relationships with children, and distant relationships with friends.
Now, some of you are probably thinking – “how did you solve this”? “What magical cure can CrossFit offer to make this better, I mean CrossFit fixes everything right?!” Sure, I could have said “credit card please and we’ll solve all your problems” but I know that would have been false.
I know from my own experience that this approach doesn’t work. My business mentor refused my desperate attempts to throw more money at my problems because his experiences tell him what mine now told this lady.
Sleep is the best cure, and last time I looked we don’t have a sleep AMRAP in our programming. Being kind to yourself is the first step to being kind to others. Not killing yourself with crazy work hours gets you closer to, not further away from, success.
At this point, any exercise and nutrition program we could offer would have been destined to fail. Why? Because you can’t tell an irrational person they’re being irrational. They need to rebuild their resilience, increase their happiness by getting more time in the rack, sack or whatever else you call your bed.
Adding in 3-4 training sessions per week, encouraging drastic changes in nutritional intake all would have led to failure, and then the risk of this situation spiralling further out of control. People die early because of craziness work/life balances.
They don’t get to enjoy time with their grandkids because they’re miserable old people soon for an early grave. The lady in question left with a smile on her face, because instead of the standard fitness industry hard sell, she got care and attention to the major issue holding her back from success.
If we never do business with this lady, but she sleeps an extra hour or two a day as a result of our chat, I’ll be the happiest man around.
So, get some more sleep.
You’ll be a nicer, more successful person.