10 years

Today marks 10 years since The Quad ran our first-ever class at Bamboola. Seems eons ago. Feels like last week. A lot to be thankful for. A lot of people to be thankful to. I am not even going to try right now. A lot of learnings (this is not a "10 years, 10 learnings") Instead, I want to focus on one - the overnight transformation.

We've been fortunate to observe and walk along with 100s of students on their physical and mental transformations. Week in, week out, we've learned that what we think we sell and what we actually sell is not the same thing. That's been a huge learning.

And from the student's perspective as well, what they come in wanting versus what affects the transformation is almost never the same. Amongst the countless, enriching, mind-blowing conversations that we've had with our community, what we've realised is that the sky is the limit for transformations.

I am not talking about something as one-dimensional as weight loss. Yes, we have zillions of those. One cannot be a fitness company without giving weight loss (We deliver fat loss. Important semantics). But you can get that anywhere, especially if you are loose with your methods.

I am talking about the transformation of character and thought. Finding a side of you that you did not think existed. Finding strength where you thought there was none. Finding perseverance after years of giving up too soon. Finding consistency after years of being a dabbler, of trying things out and getting bored, and moving on.

Catalysts and climactic moments

We are proud to be a catalyst for these moments.

Except these are not singular moments. There's no amazing build-up to that climax that you are waiting for.

The world around us is engineered and filled with climactic moments. But that's fake - like television. From the Olympics to every movie, to cricket and football, the building up, that crescendo, the anticipation, and the glory - that's how it always happens.

Except that is not at all how it happens in your life. That's not how a transformation happens. Ever.

Instead, it is so gradual.

It is like watching a tree grow. Or seeing a bud blossom into a flower. It happens overnight, except all that glacial progress is there to see. Open your eyes.

And it is never linear. It is never "onwards and upwards". It is up and down. It involves getting lost. Getting re-routed.

A lot of my job is telling amazing students of mine how amazing they are. Because they miss their gradual progress. They get misled by climactic moments. They think that a glorious moment of thunder and lightning and angels singing will be the background when they lift the sword from the stone.

Sword In The Stone.
Photo by Omar Prestwich / Unsplash

It won't be one moment. It will instead be many moments.

Moments. Plural.

Glorious, meaningful moments. You lift a weight you never thought possible. You squat deeper than you could. You walk up flights of stairs carrying grocery bags without being gassed. You limberly tie your shoelaces without needing to sit or groan. You lift that water can and put it on your dispenser. You get asked fitness and nutrition questions and doubts from your colleagues.

But all of them will be smaller than you anticipate. Because in your head, you are expecting a climactic moment. You are expecting to win the World Cup with a glorious 6er.

Image courtesy: myKhel

Seeing The Quad's journey over 10 years, observing my personal growth, observing my students' journey and transformations - it is filled with smaller moments. By no means are these smaller moments less meaningful.

In fact, these are what make it easy to wake up every morning at 3.45 am. To do what we do. Because there are so many personal and communal moments of joy, amazement, success, of failure.

Of course, there are peaks. But as soon as you stand on one peak, and you celebrate, you continue plodding along. Not searching for the next drink, or hit of an addictive drug, but continuing on your quest for self-improvement and growth.

As a company, as a founder, as a coach, as a trainee - these are the moments that truly matter. If there's one learning that I would like to continuously hammer into my head and my students', it would be this. There are 100s of moments. All of them are part of the fabric of our transformation. Don't discount any. Don't discount them in expectation of something larger. Because what you think the transformation is versus what the transformation is are radically different. And as you walk the path, you realise you were mostly wrong and THIS is just way better.