All gyms are NOT created equal. Differences in space and equipment aside, they have different personalities and goals. We wanted to give you a chance to find out a little bit about us. Violet Community has 3 core values through which we filter all our activity. See Value Two and Three.
We look at life from a distance, with some perspective. As much as some of us love working out, none of us are going to make a living as a professional athlete. Since making money or winning championships isn’t the goal of our sweat, what is the purpose? Why do we come to the gym?
It’s important to us that your time inside the box should improve your life outside, in real life.
Sports are common metaphors for life. Our time in the gym is the same! We have lots of “practice days”; where you work on the fundamentals in a variety of ways and really get the basics down. We have “competition days”; where the lights are on, the music is loud and you are challenged to do your very best. We have “grunt work” days where it’s a grind to get through and surviving is its own reward.
Very similar to life! Most of our “real life” days follow a routine among work and school, family and friends, responsibility and fun. We are doing the fundamentals and building a foundation for the rest of our life to grow from. Some days when we have a presentation at work or a test we’ve been studying for, we need to be our best. And we’ve all experienced days or seasons of life that are just a drag. We get through them because we have to, but it’s a struggle.
We test ourselves in the gym, so when we encounter a similar situation out in the real world, we are better prepared and equipped to deal with it.
- Physically: We can push that car when it runs out of gas or move that new couch into the next room.
- Mentally: We know how to work hard even when the reward is a long way off.
- Psychologically: We learn how to recover from setbacks and come back better than before.
The beautiful thing about this “raising the bar” analogy is that it applies to EVERYONE. Everyone has a “bar” – a standard they set for life. We aren’t judging those standards. We are simply advocating for raising that standard, even a little bit. One tiny degree of difference taken over a lifetime, can lead to an enormously different outcome.
My bar isn’t the same as your bar. You have a different weight, heck maybe an entirely different movement! But we can be raising our bars alongside one another. Everyone can take their bar, and raise it a bit. Violet Community wants to be a part of that journey!
Areas of Improvement
“Raising the bar” can take a lot of different forms. Typically, when you think “gym” you think of physical attributes. And yes, we absolutely desire those improvements for you. Your raw strength can improve, along with balance. Your endurance capacity and your flexibility can increase. We even work on coordination and accuracy skills, with odd object and grunt work.
But potential improvements go much farther than physical.
Learning a new skill affects the brain in many positive ways; such as creating new connections in the brain by forming alternate pathways for information to travel. How do we recreate that learning experience when we already know enough to survive adulthood? One way is to get in the gym!
If you are like most adults, at some point we stop learning new skills. Other research indicates our brains start slowing down when we reach our mid-20s. Not because we lack the ability to learn but because we tend to get in a rut, letting our routines take over. Just like physical muscle, if you don’t use it you lose it! When’s the last time you truly got to learn something novel?
A 2016 survey that reveals the average UK adult hasn’t tried a new activity or hobby in five and a half years, despite 80% feeling positive effects on their wellbeing when they do. We don’t think Americans are any different. According to the American Time Use Survey, the average adult reports spending three to four hours watching TV and an hour or two a day online. But that’s not learning.
Learning has tremendous value. There are physical and financial benefits, health and brain benefits. As an example, one study found that exercise “improves cognition and helps people perform better on things like planning, scheduling, multitasking and working memory.”
Embrace The Challenge
We encourage you to raise your bar and support you along the way. The next important question is: HOW? Just wanting something to happen is not enough. Hoping things improve isn’t sufficient. You WILL be challenged here, in physical ways, mental ways, emotional ways, and relational ways.
And that’s a great thing! Growth only happens through some sort of struggle. As the saying goes, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”. Nothing worth having was ever accomplished without hard work.
We want to know what is “worth having” to you so we know how to challenge you. You want to learn pull-ups? Great! You’d like to be able to walk the dog around the block and have energy to spare? Awesome. You want to deadlift your bodyweight? We gotcha. You want to keep climbing on ladders and painting houses? We can help with that!
Let’s be clear: Our programming is not challenging for the heck of it or for the fun “sweat angel” pictures on social media or because coaches like watching people suffer. We aim for long term growth and progress. The challenges will look different every day, and different to different people but they all contribute to raising your bar higher each day.