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IN-DOM-I-TA-BLE: Impossible to Subdue or Defeat


Words bring life to business. Words bring life to health and fitness. The word “indomitable” fits into both of these categories because it describes, in part, the current scenario many of us face during the pandemonium of the COVID-19 pandemic. The word indomitable might well be one of the best rallying cries for the club industry. Challenged on most fronts to provide solutions, employment, ways to reopen facilities and more, both attitude and resolve are key to winning against the challenges most in the studio and club industry are experiencing.

Statistics on permanent closures, fitness professionals out of work, and fixed costs that are eating away at bottom lines are both new to many of us and a startling reality as the pandemic of COVID-19 drags on and on. With the deep desire to provide a solution for these complicated situations, we all succeed by displaying both the resolve and actions of indomitability. In response to what might be your next questions — “What does one do?” and “What does that look like?” — I want to share some answers from some deep thinking.

Question 1: What does one do?

Answer: Gets stuff done (GSD).

As Kim Scott explains in her excellent work, “Radical Candor,” the GSD is a wheel that circles repeatedly, representing, in part, the process of being indomitable.

This is a time of challenges. Take the challenge of GSD by doing something new. Challenge yourself to get caught up on what you have been avoiding for too long a time. Take the dual challenges of trying something new and of finishing something old. After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Question 2: What does that look like?

Answer: Earn your stripes.

In keeping with GSD, one earns both respect and indomitability rank when they actually do something positive and execute on decisions. It is easy during these times to spiral downward, rather than energize and move forward, but those who make forward progress earn their stripes. Here are but a few examples:

  • During shutdown: This is what we have been doing to make the club better during this period — insert your own list here.
  • Virtual study group: I learned new online skills, took courses to learn more, and connected with those I have been meaning to talk to.
  • Member Communication: I called or connected with five to 10 members or clients every day.

There is a very, very powerful force that is displacing most, all the while whipping through the industry with the strength of a super typhoon. Yet, the club industry is resilient and strong, full of people who are willing to fight the good fight to stay alive and refuse to compromise. 

Time and time again, the health club industry has proven it can rise above almost any adversity, including this one. But it takes indomitability, coupled with persistent individuals and leaders, to reckon with these forces. Using the power of indomitability, it is impossible to be subdued or be defeated.

Sal Edwards

Sal Edwards, MA, MBA is the CEO and founder of Heart Zones, a technology, education and wearable device company headquartered in Sacramento, California, with a mission to help get America fit. To reach Sal, email sal.edwards@heartzones.com.

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