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"I’m not rich, I’m a backpacker"

Travelling through Africa in the late '90s, this was a statement, an excuse, that I used with local people who I deemed to be asking inflated prices for a service, or were perhaps just asking for money full stop.

In my head, because I was taking local transport, eating street food, and camping rough, I did not fall in to the same class as the tourists who blasted through the continent in their air conditioned bus.

"I'm not like them" I would say to people trying to sell me a $4 taxi ride, or a 20 cent souvenir.

Do you think the locals saw my point, given that I was spending 6 months not working, traveling around with no responsibilities?

To them, I was just as rich and privileged as the first class passengers bussing from Hilton to Hilton.

Then I spent 2 weeks in The Congo, and suddenly realised how incredibly naive I was.  The divide here between have and have not, was even greater than I had previously experienced, and it suddenly hit home.   Once I was in a place with no other tourists, surrounded by people who were struggling to stay ALIVE, let alone earn enough money to provide for their family, I could see that I was making some seriously inaccurate comparisons.

I see this sort of thing happening both in our gym, and the outside world.

It's so easy to miss how fit you are when surrounded by fit people.  If you're a member of this gym, you're surrounded by the top 1%.  If your current fitness is towards the lower end of that 1%, what does that really make you?  Don't try and tell me "I'm not an athlete, I am so unfit" The fact that you are in here every week, making goals, working hard, being open to coaching and improvement puts you deservedly into that 1% stratosphere.

Don't be oblivious to your potential.

And if you don't train with us (or anywhere else), it’s so easy to not realise how unfit you are (and how your health is deteriorating each year) when you are surrounded by unfit people - those you work with, live with and socialise with.  You might think you are the healthiest in your circles......but it all depends on the circles you move in.

Don't be oblivious to your potential.

You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.

So find a smarter, wealthier, friendlier, happier,  fitter circle of people.

Stop comparing and be more aware of what you're capable of.

Darren Ellis