Thank you Tribers!

Thank you for another amazing year. The further we travel along this Tribe path, the more I realise it is not so much about the health and fitness as it is about friendships. The social.

The founder of Starbucks wrote a book titled ‘It’s not about the Coffee’. He insisted that in every Starbucks fit out there be a small lounge area, aiming to replicate the home environment. Smart. Howard Schultz (founder of Starbucks) demanded the success of his company was not about the coffee, instead, it was the connection, the social, the relationships. I feel the same way about Tribe. Health and fitness is important, but if you can build relationships along your Tribe journey, then I think you have achieved something far greater than lifting more or being leaner.

2018 was filled with some amazing times. There were the social catch ups at Highfields (where their takings increased by 50% when you lot turned up!), we had Sutherland to Surf, our usual medals in May, free coffee Friday(s) and Tribe Run School (I loved seeing everyone together in Mudgee). However, there were 2 events that stole my attention. Our first Bali Retreat and our recent October Challenge.

My expectations of the Bali retreat:

  1. For everyone to have some time-out
  2. I saw it as a great reward for Paddy, Heathy, Amy as Trainers of the longest tenure
  3. Have some fun with exercise, a few drinks and enable Tribers to form new relationships.

What actually happened:

  1. I was blown away with how much everyone needed time-out.
  2. The connection was real

Time-out. We live in Sydney. That’s a stress in itself. We become frustrated if we cannot find a park at Westfield. I often stand at reception at Tribe and watch people enter. I laugh at the people who swipe their orange key tag 17 times before the gate opens all of 3 seconds later.

‘What’s wrong with the gate Mark?’

‘Nothing you dick’.

Everyone who came on the retreat has a job and/or kids/partners. How often do we leave all that behind and have some genuine ‘me’ time? Judging by the relaxed faces on day 4, never. Hats off to the partners who stayed at home and looked after the kids. Respect. But hats off to the Tribe retreaters who came away, even with the ‘’I’ve left the kids at home’’ guilt, but still came, knowing it will be a great rest. Think about that. Even when you go away on a holiday with your family. Yes, it is always excellent. Yes we love our families. Yes they are memories to treasure forever. However have you ever gone away with only 1 person to worry about? I enjoyed watching the mums and dads on this retreat, or the others who don’t have kids, but lead a busy life back in Sydney. I enjoyed watching them after a workout in the morning followed by brekky, with this blank look on their face when they realized it was 9am and they had a whole lot of nothing to do for the rest of the day. Priceless. The shoulders relaxed, tension disappeared. And people started to talk to each other. This is where relationships were formed. We had 43 people on this retreat. From 27 years of age to 67. From super fit and strong, to just being happy to move and walk around. But there was no hierarchy. No one better than anyone else. Just a group of people helping and supporting each other. I love that. I honestly love it. I love seeing people connect through Tribe.

The October Challenge. I remember watching the first episode of Australian Idol. I loved it. What a great idea! Finding talent throughout Australia. People who can sing, but may never have had the chance to rise to the top. Series 2 came and went. Series 3,4,5,6. Then around series 7, the concept was becoming a little boring. Australians had seen it all before. Then ‘The Voice’ came along. They changed 1 thing and totally revolutionised the reality TV ‘search for a superstar’ concept. They turned the chairs around. I love stories like this. I am passionate about fitness and business. I remember speaking to Bec Hughes (member of Tribe and all-round deadest legend) earlier this year. I said ‘Bec, these challenges that we do. They are good, but I feel they are becoming stale’. I told her my much loved story of Australian Idol and The Voice. I said to Bec that we need to turn the chairs around on this challenge. 3 days later I receive an email from Bec. Teams. Change 1 thing. Form teams. I fell in love with this idea and the rest is history. The October Challenge brought our challenges back to life. We had 426 people register. The most we have ever had. I believe the ingredient that grabbed everyone’s attention was the camaraderie from this team element. Whether you loved the competition where you wanted to crush every other Team, or you missed the team bonding from 20 years ago when you used to play a game with your mates on the weekend then crack open your first drink within 5 minutes of the final whistle, or the banter. Yes, the banter. Enter Dan Hansell. Supremo at the sledge. Often is looked upon as quietly going about his work. The man can sledge.

Our Team Challenges are here to stay (for a while) – the Teams element is a winner.

All of this cannot be achieved without a fantastic Team. Stop and take a look at these guys. Recently Ange posted something about our team with a photo of all of us. Someone commented ‘what a bunch of misfits’. My first reaction was to give this person a serve, however once I settled down I realised this person was right. We are. This team are unique. We all come from different backgrounds. Different upbringings. They bring the best out in each other. Read that again. They bring out the best in each other. Without this Team, I don’t know where some of us would be. I often wish that the Tribers could see the banter that occurs in our Monday Team Meetings. That’s where the magic happens and together, this awesome team carry the vibe for the rest of the week to the Tribers. Our Team are fun, passionate, caring – they all have integrity.

I cannot wait for 2019. We have 2 new surprises coming your way. All will be revealed in time.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas. As the year comes to a close, take the time to reflect on the year and be kind to yourself when you do. If you’re reading this I know you have a lot to celebrate from 2018.  Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2019.

Much love, Mark.