Wow, 25 years have flown by us! It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since the inception of NFPT. But I’m pretty sure that we’ve all felt the time wisp by us in one way or another. We’ve all probably said it too…“boy, how time flies!” I think for anyone, in any industry, in any workplace, in any family, it’s always a bit hard to believe how much time has really gone by since we’ve paused to take notice. We even tend to get into an impatient rut and believe that things don’t happen fast enough. Our impatient desires for “success” are even that much more justified when life takes an unexpected and unfortunate turn. So what’s this have to do with NFPT’s anniversary? Well, plenty! NFPT wasn’t a successful organization overnight. There were many painstaking experiences and challenges to overcome. I want to be real with you. I want you to be encouraged because you’re not alone in your desire to grow as a person, as a family, as a business – ‘cause we’ve all been there!
NFPT was conceived by Ron Clark, my Dad, in the mid 1980’s. I remember him working tirelessly to build the vision that he had for NFPT, and for our family. In fact, I remember him sitting in his small office in an old run-down refurbished school building, my sister and I always “bothering” him to forget about his work and entertain us. We were just too young to know, or care, what Dad was up to. But he did his best to balance it all, and to be patient in his pursuits. Now, almost 30 years since he started working to build NFPT, my sister and I aren’t the same little children tugging at his pants. We’re as much “in love” with our place in the fitness industry as he was to establish it. And we sure have a much better perspective of things now!
“Success”, by which I personally do not define monetarily, is not something we achieve and sit back to enjoy. In my humble opinion, it is never achieved! There is always something to be working towards. There is always an area of growth and “fruit” to be cultivated from the vines of our labor. The moment that our focus turns to patting ourselves on the back, we’ve lost everything we’ve worked for because we’ve put our vain selves above those we serve. Though we were once innocently naïve in our youth, in time we find that our perspectives are clearer, our pursuits less in vain. Suddenly we become aware that in our impatience to achieve a goal, we’ve in fact learned to be more patient! I find that, in celebrating a milestone, we’re not celebrating the day itself but, instead, we celebrate the lessons learned, the experiences had and the time that it’s taken us to get there.
If you have children, you know this all too well. We think, when our kids are babies, that they’ll be small and helpless forever. We impatiently wait for that next milestone to happen, like feeding themselves, because “won’t life be so much easier when they can do that!?” You think that life will be so much better once that milestone is reached and, before you know it, many more days, then years, quickly follow. You’re left saying “boy, how time flies!” But you can look at your now teenager, or maybe even your grandchildren, and you can see what the fruits of your labor, over a long period of time, have accomplished.
I sat next to a couple last Sunday morning, they were celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary, I was speechless to hear it. You don’t hear of many 62nd wedding anniversaries! Nothing I could have said, no celebratory offering, no hallmark card, nothing at all could have expressed how inspiring, and yet how challenging, that amount of time and commitment to someone is! But I do know that one thing’s for sure; they didn’t get to 62 years of marriage by being blinded in false truths of easy roads ahead, or the insistence on giddy butterfly feelings for 62 years. No, they worked at it, they labored in love for 62 years!
Trials, tribulation and lessons learned through impatience probably wasn’t the feel-good piece that was expected for this blog post. But it’s those very things that impact us most, that work us towards the good, towards the fruit, towards the very reason that we can look back at what we’ve learned and can celebrate. At NFPT, we’re celebrating every new day! We love this industry and we love our family, friends and trainers. Thank you all for being part of our growth, and for inspiring us to continue to grow. Our 25th anniversary is dedicated to you!