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Passion and Fear

Passion and Fear

With the aroma of spring and cool breeze working its way through my open window, I sit at my desk working late at night as I usually do. Tonight’s lyrical inspiration happens to be Toad The Wet Sprocket as they play through my speakers. They have triggered memories back to the moment when I made the decision to go all in, buy in 100%, and put my neck on the line – the time I decided to not make coaching my part-time job, but truly my life’s work.

Prior to this point in my life I was a student, college football player, decent bodybuilder, bartender, waiter, bar back and yes, even on the line as a cook for a short stint in the back of the house. (That is where I TRULY believe I learned what it was going to take to make it in this life. That could be an entirely separate post all in its self, so I digress.) I eventually made it through school and now was neck deep in student loans.

Just like many of my fellow exercise scientists coming out of school, I realized there aren’t many well paying entry level jobs for an exercise physiologist. I went into school thinking if I work really hard, a job will be handed to me and I’ll automatically be successful. It was a rude awakening when I came to the realization that was not the slightest bit true. All that hard work I did in school was essentially my buy-in to the game and world of coaching. Reading books and getting good grades does not correlate to people throwing money at me to coach them. Hard work is what puts you in the position to succeed. However, reality set in. I had loans, rent, bills and I needed to eat.

Insert Kyle becoming the world’s largest and most out of place bar back/bartender possible. I think I knocked down every girl bartender at least twice a night. Again, I digress. I would work countless hours at this position and at the end of these very long weeks, which at times I couldn’t even quantify the days, they all blurred into one. In my very little studio apartment, I would sit at the desk that my knees did not fit under and listen to 90s grunge music. I’m sure the girls who lived above me, whom are now replaced by Ewa (sorry, babe), hated it. As a calm breeze blew in and lifted the smell of smoky whisky off my dress shirt, I remember asking myself how many hours did I put into working my “job” versus work on being a better coach this week?

Even though I was working foolish hours at this bar, I was always still doing whatever I could to work with clients in all aspects of training, be it online, in person, nutrition etc. I had a few clients I was training at a local gym and a few online, but nothing serious. In reality, I was begging people to let me show the world what I could do. However, I realized I was a full-time bar back and a part-time coach at best. This did not sit well with me at all. How did I let 6.5 years of passion, schooling and ball busting work lead me to this? Yes, I am only 27 and at the time was 23, but it was still displeasing to me.

There it is, the word PASSION. Here I am sitting at my desk, literally smelling like I just went on a 3-day bender, trying to convince myself I am passionate about coaching, nutrition and training! You sure as hell could fool me. I was so mad at myself that I let the one thing I cared so much about start to slip away. I promised myself one thing: be true to yourself.

Changing who I am is not something I should do because something was easier, financially better or “safer”. The biggest way to tell if someone is SINCERELY passionate about something is if they stay true to themselves, create original thoughts and are content. They never rip or re-word someone else’s literatures or works. They are pretenders who are in something just so they can make a quick buck or pay their bills. (The fitness industry is full of these frauds, which again, could be a separate blog post).

As I was starting to map out how I was going to move forward with my coaching business, I started thinking about all of the great things that could come from this. But, just like any reasonable human would, I started to let the sensation of doubt creep in. I started to feel fear… Ah, there’s the second word, FEAR. Making such a big jump, leaving your job to focus on what you want to do for the rest of your life is freaking scary.

I started second guessing myself again. I was so excited to go in the next shift and put in my two weeks. To put whatever money I had into renting a space to train clients (insert Motiv8 and where I met the love of my life, Ewa), but I just kept thinking of all the bad things that could happen. I could run out of money, not pay my bills, my rent, my loans, or even eat.

I had emotions everywhere, I was happy, upset, angry. Every sensation filled me at that point. I was looking at fear as if it were something horrid. It deterred me from my goals versus allowing it to be the driving force to get me there. So I  reminded myself, that if you were truly passionate about something you wouldn’t need a dime to do it. So instead of thinking “I need this many clients to cover my rent, pay my bills, etc.”, I thought “How am I going to be a better coach today than I was yesterday?”

Fear is something that, to the naked eye, is negative and crumbling and even debilitating. However, if you look at it on a deeper level, fear is what drives people to do great things. It can literally give you the chills and prime your body and stimulate your senses. It is essentially getting you ready to take on whatever challenge may lie ahead, whether it be running from a bear or taking a life changing risk like leaving a job. If you were about to go through a life altering event, don’t get any parasympathetic response from it, or work unbelievably hard – we may need to check your pulse.

As scared as I was, I took that fear and went to bed that night optimistic. Knowing this was going to push my past experiences and I to the furthest we’ve ever gone. I woke up that next morning and instantly felt that same defeating fear again. However, I went reverse pessimistic on it and used it to fuel me. I thought about it – I literally had nothing to lose. Therefore, I focused on redefining fear and using it to fuel all of this. It was a simple thought… I could give this EVERYTHING I’ve got and do what I’ve always dreamed of doing for the rest of my life or end up back at the bar making decent money and getting by.

Its now been 3.5 years since I left that bar, spent the little money I had on renting space and spent every hour of my day in there. You can ask Ewa and Tim! I would sleep on the ground in there at times. I now have upwards of 200 active clients and helped a total that I cant even think of. That fear is what set me on the path to meet the love of my life, Ewa. I would have never met her if I didn’t take that risk and start working at the same studio she was. (Thank you Tim, haha.)

I can promise you that I feel that same feeling every morning I wake up just as I did 3.5 years ago. It wasn’t how to make money or sell programs. It was “if I put everything I have into these clients, more would come.” “What can I do to make these clients better?”

Reflecting on all of this, now I find myself in the position I was 3.5 years ago. I have put astronomical amounts of energy and time into building GlickFit but just like I said before, I’ve only bought into the game, people are just starting to recognize what I can do. Now it’s time to capitalize on these opportunities and help as many people as I possibly can.

There is no passion without fear.

– KG


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