On Friday night, just as I began explaining The Daily, the power went out. Eskom’s timing impeccable, as always.

The workout we had lined up was “The Gauntlet” – a Roark benchmark, and one that is testing enough with music to inspire you and light to guide you.

Fortunately the sun was still setting, so we had some natural light to set up the necessary equipment. I always coach the Friday evening class, and it’s usually the same guys who come to that session. It’s not a private or anything like that, but it seems as though the same guys come regularly on a Friday after work, which in itself is to be respected.

Before we started I asked the guys to really try and prove something to themselves – that they don’t need blaring music, lights or perfect conditions to get some hard work done.

Sometimes it’s good to head off into the darkness with a flashlight, and see if you can still find your way home.

I’ve seen a lot of classes and I’ve coached a lot of guys, and I can honestly say that I have seldom seen a group of men work harder than that class did. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that the thing that existed that night, and in our gym in general, isn’t something intangible. It’s not a mysterious element we’re lucky enough to have stumbled upon.

The ‘thing’ is trust.

Not the kind of trust you’re thinking, or not the direction of trust you’re thinking, at least. People automatically, and correctly, assume that the trust has to be present from the member’s side. They need to trust that what is programmed for them will benefit and improve them, and is ultimately within their reach. That’s the minimum standard. But trust flows the other way too.

I trust them. We trust our members.

We trust them to pace themselves when we ask them to, and we trust them to respond when we ask them to go all in. We trust them to uphold, within those four walls, what we have built up over the years. We trust them with our gym and with our name.

When trust flows as strongly as that – when you know that the guys you train are the genuine type of person you envisioned coaching when you decided to get into it, that’s where the results are special. And our results are special.

– JW

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