11 September 2016

Have you done much exercise this week?

It has been an extraordinary week for fitness and sport at UKFast. The team is normally quite an active bunch with daily exercise classes and sports teams, but this week we took it to the next level and I was reminded of how linked business and sport really is.

UKFast bootcamp

Some of the team at wednesday’s bootcamp session.

We kickstarted Monday with rugby legend and ex-England international Mark Cueto visiting our Campus. As you may know, we gather the team together to start the week in our auditorium every Monday morning – it’s an amazing opportunity to celebrate the week gone by and to build energy for the days ahead.

This week, we invited Cueto along to share his story and tips for motivation. It was incredible to hear how he started off a footballer, joining rugby later down the road and still going on to become the record-holding try scorer in the Premiership – a title he still holds today.

As someone who has known Mark since the days of training at Altrincham Kersal in the early 1990s, it’s fantastic to see him make the transition from the pitch to the commercial world so well. He’s a natural speaker and if you ever get the opportunity to hear him tell his story, I highly recommend taking it.

Mark shared his formula for success with the UKFast management team during the company meeting, and answered questions about staying motivated, building morale and self-belief. The energy around Campus afterwards was absolutely extraordinary.

There’s nothing more motivating for me, as the CEO, than seeing my team fired up and ready to make a difference.

Having started the week with rugby, we ended it that way too with the first Sale Sharks home game of the season. Wow. What a feeling it was walking into the stadium with 30 of our team and clients to see the UKFast-branded stand, our logo flashing on the boards by the pitch and our name across the glorious new home shirt.

It is hard to describe what a moment that was for me. It’s been a long time coming, returning as the main sponsor. We left for the right reasons back then, but it is something I have always missed. I loved rugby, I love Sale Sharks and I love our history with the club.

Regardless of their results, it is amazing to be back. I am delighted to be back working with an incredible team there, having a chat with Swanny, catching up with Cueto and seeing our name on every shirt.

On top of this, Wednesday was National Fitness Day. Whilst every week at UKFast Campus we already have bootcamp, kettlebells, daily running clubs, spinning classes, football and netball teams, and yoga; we upped our game on Wednesday. We had special National Fitness Day bootcamp and kettlebells to celebrate getting active.

A little while ago I introduced our board of directors to a team of personal trainers. As a perk of being on the board, our directors all complete twice-weekly personal training sessions at the UKFast Campus gym. They’re doing an amazing job and deserve this time away from their desks, outside their comfort zones, pushing limits and boundaries.

I strongly believe that pushing boundaries in the gym fuels a desire to push yourself in other parts of your life. It’s about breaking habits. If you break through your limits with exercise, why can’t you break through them elsewhere too?

I once heard Phil Jones, MD of Brother UK, speaking at an InspireMCR event where he said: “Your limits aren’t limits; they’re constructs that you create.”

Mark Cueto in his playing days

It is so true. Our limits aren’t physical limits; they are walls that we create in our minds that stop us from reaching our potential. How many times have you said and believed that you can’t do something, when it turns out that you actually can?

Sport helps to combat this. Whether that’s playing a team that you don’t think you can beat in a netball match, or smashing a personal best on a run, or lifting a heavier weight than you thought you could.

I remember a conversation I had with squash champion Laura Massaro some years ago. Laura said that she could never be the World Number One because she didn’t believe that she could beat the current number one spot holder. After some help with mindset training and a pep-talk or two, Laura absolutely smashed it. She worked hard to believe that she could do it and beat the ex-world number one with no drama. It was an extraordinary performance.

What could do achieve if you believed that you could do it? What are you holding yourself back from? Of course, believing you can fly, doesn’t mean that you can – but it could mean that you could find a way to achieve it!

Next time you find yourself saying ‘I can’t’ stop and think about what happen if you removed those limits and believed that you could? Keep try and keep believe and life could be so much more interesting.

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