A "Holiday" 12 years in the making (and counting) - THM07
Come morning time on Thursday the 14th of July we are finally ready to walk through the mirrored doors of the fittest gym no one knows about.
If you find yourself under the roof of a gym in the industrial area of Sydney and you ask them if they know Gym Jones then I have little doubt you will both get tipsy on the stories that could be shared about the facility that builds Spartans.
Go around the corner of the gym in Salt Lake City to a local GNC and they have never heard of "him".
Gym Jones isn't for everyone. Not so much because it is an acquired taste but rather because people aren't ready for the transformation. Like unspoken Fight Clubs around the world, Gym Jones is closer than you think.
I feel it is fair to say that for the greater number of us, we like to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves. The feeling of belonging is something that is barbed wired into our DNA and I truly believe the best way to belong is to first selflessly contribute to a cause with a meaning that aligns with your heartbeat.
For me, this first came about during 2007. Whilst hanging out at the gym I managed I was ushered to the computer to watch a video that would ultimately change the direction of my life forever. I was 18 at the time and had worked away in the industry for 3 years by this point.
To this day, that video has probably played a bigger impact on more lives than I could ever imagine. Since watching it I have worked with and trained approximately five thousand clients, developed hundreds of coaches and help build over 10 gyms from the ground up.
All of the businesses I have worked with have had my home made seasoning of Gym Jones and a pinch of my own philosophy sprinkled all over it.
To liken it to something we all know; Gym Jones is Batman and the Joker is the gimmick-swollen fitness industry silently attacking our home city.
Batman can sometimes be seen as rogue and above the law. When really, if he wasn't there, we would all be doomed.
Yeah, fuck the joker! (except for the Heath Ledger version - he was fanfuckingtastic).
Anywho, turning our attention back to the industry, since starting, my ideas have changed and watching the very first video of Gym Jones was the pivotal moment. Put simply, why I started in the industry and why I am still in the industry could almost be worlds apart. I have seen behind the curtains of the show and let me tell you, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors.
I got in the industry to help people and build an image and choose my own hours. I now stay in the industry to challenge it and bring what I feel to be the antidote to the sickness that this industry is riddled with.
We are all in pursuit of the better version of us because we are told we are not enough. I know it is important to dig deeper and pursue your potential, I am just simply saying that this is not out of you and you definitely cannot hate it out of you.
To get there, first we must understand that there is no pill.
There is no short cut.
That no one is coming to save you.
Not even me.
The better version of you is not on the other side of a PayPal payment. It’s on the other side of honesty and self-education. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you should have skin in the game and if you aren’t prepared to offer to clean the mats of your gym for free then I feel you should hand over some cash. It’s called an investment because you leave with a higher Health IQ. You now have the responsibility and opportunity to teach the next generation.
Simply hiring a personal trainer to exercise you and tell you what to eat so you can be a good role model is not necessarily as good of an idea as one may think. Is it better than nothing or feeding your kids instant takeaway? Sure! But they aren’t the only two options. What if I said that by doing the former you may ultimately be telling them is that if you earn enough money then your health is someone else’s responsibility.
You may lose weight. You may get to move bigger weights, maybe even get 200 likes on a before and after. That’s great for now in our microwave society of instant gratification. But what does it look like in 5 years time? What does your health IQ sit at then?
Health is not a before and after photo.
Health is the smile on your kids face when you play soccer with them. Health is the touch of your partners hand overlooking the sunrise a top a mountain hike. Health is a weekend out camping, a morning dip in the sea. Health is solitude before the noise of the world.
You see, I’m not in the business of getting people fit. I am in the business of making memories. No one looks back on their life and remembers the 209 likes they got for a ‘before and after’ selfie. You look back and remember when you actually participated in life. When you actually did cool shit. If a transformation photo is a component of all this, then cool. You just got to make sure that when your life flashes before your eyes that you did everything you could to make it worth watching.
I am not in the health business teaching people, I am in the people business teaching health.
I give people a path to being able to create memories in the future they would have otherwise missed because they weren’t able to participate in life at the level needed to create those memories.
It’s that simple.
I have learnt what matters and what is just fluff. What is real and what is real fake. I promise you that at your funeral, no one will talk about social media. They will talk about how you made people feel and what memories they have of you.
So for those of you who don’t know me, I am Dave Nixon and I create memories.
My story in this industry started when I was 15. Before that I grew up around a broken family, domestic violence and my home by the coast from ages 10-14 introduced me to alcohol abuse. Not me personally, but the exposure of how it can tear people and families apart.
I don’t feel my story is very different to the next person. I don’t share my story because it’s different, I share it because it is the same. There are thousands of us in the world who are either working in or participating in the fitness industry with a goal of improving ourselves along the way. The vehicle we choose to do that can change along the way and can differ from other people and we need to understand that that is OK. If somebody doesn’t like lifting and they feel like they don’t enjoy it then go run, go Zumba, go learn gymnastics.
Listen to your body and what makes it excited. Stop listening to everyone else’s mouth telling you what to do. Learn to know yourself.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the tour we are currently on?
It’s simple; this tour has been 10 years in the making. Probably longer.
I never wanted to own a gym. I wanted to change the industry. That’s why we trekked across a country. It felt like the next thing in my story that I had to do. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t have money for it. Something told me just to go, so I did.
On the outside, everyone sees a crazy holiday of sunshine and training with some of the world’s best. Although there was a lot of both, no one saw the 18 months of emails and skype calls that lead to me getting in touch with these people. It was coming over last year to the States and investing a lot of money to work and train with some people for little short term return. That allowed me to build credibility to work with these legends of the game. Game changers, if I may.
It was the 18 months of emails back and forth with Men’s Muscle & Health to get my first article published. To use this as a way to get in with some of the names we worked with. It was 3 years of building relationships with a podcast team to get on the number 1 online radio team in the fitness industry. It was 5 years of running my own facility while recruiting an extraordinary team of individuals with exceptional individual talents who share a similar vision. It was 12 years peppered with 430am alarm clocks, fuck ups, wins, losses, rejection, mistakes, injuries highlighted with some victories inside the ring, the field, the gym and in life.
This is no holiday.
This is a chapter in the story.
This is how we change the industry.
By exposing that it isn’t about the industry. It isn’t about the before and after photo. It is about educating the populous to not to need us. And to do that, we have to get to the best and find out why they do what they do.
If you see someone in this industry as competition then you are in it for the wrong reason.
The reason why I have no issue with telling people how to build a successful gym or coach and train clients and coaches is because no one can do what I do. They can only do their version. I will continue to attract those that believe what I believe and see what I see. That isn’t everyone, I know that.
So this tour is more than just throwing around weights and hitting some nice beaches.
It is 42,000 kms of travel to source out why the best are the best. What they did and who they are to become that person.
This is why I align with Gym Jones. This is why I am proud to call Rob Mc Donald a friend.
This is why you need to know him and his army.
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to one of the biggest players of the next decade in the fitness industry; Mr. Rob Mcdonald.