Updated: Sep 13, 2020
I believe the present times calls for us to be “Semper Gumby.” As a yoga and fitness teacher you may think I'm referring to some flexible yoga pose. But as many of you know we are a long-time military family and in the military there are myriad expressions that are often funny, but also really sum up a situation. One of them is “Semper Gumby” aka “always be flexible.” Semper after the Latin “always” and Gumby from a flexible Claymation character from a popular children’s TV show in the 1950s & 60s – together referencing the need to always be flexible. Our present world and personal circumstance have brought this funny, yet true, expression frequently to mind lately.
In March when everything we’d taken for granted was suddenly changed or put on hold, we all went through a period of shock and awe, perhaps followed by other stages of grief and acceptance. Then came two choices, do we stagnate or innovate? Some are still stagnating and waiting, many others have moved forward, step, by halting step into understanding the world has changed and we must be “Semper Gumby” to succeed and “set the conditions for success” as the military also likes to say.
There will be a bright, but changed future ahead and the human race is magnificent at the great “comeback story.” In every period of historical challenges, out of the darkest of times comes the seeds of change and improvement that might never have been if we’d been allowed to go on as usual. While sadly many businesses will not survive in their present form, I believe many will evolve into a better, healthier and more successful version and young entrepreneurs will fill voids created in crisis and replace the spaces other businesses vacate.
As it relates to fitness and myself, I doubt I ever would have taken the time and energy to figure out how to reach out to our fitness community via online platforms had I not been forced to under the circumstances. Always having a full plate, there just never seemed to be the time. Well, circumstances and time interceded, and I’m so pleasantly surprised by the doors this forced change has opened! I'm grateful for the opportunity to reach out to people who would otherwise have been isolated and to encourage physical and mental health at a time we’ve never needed it more. This challenging time has helped me explore how this experience might make me, my community and my business better as we come through all this.
It’s an empowering thought process, that takes us from passivity and fear, to choosing to create a better future by being proactive about our own physical and mental health and encouraging others to do the same – “Leading from the front” by example as the military says. After all, it is well researched that one of the top characteristics of those who live long lives is the ability to adapt well to change. It’s a neurological truth and a heart truth. Our present circumstances are giving us the opportunity to be “Semper Gumby” and adapt to live a long, healthy life, love others more and equally, innovate and discover. Will we “poo-poo” it and white knuckle trying to stay in the past or be open to imagining and creating our next exciting chapter – physically, emotionally, spiritually, inter-personally, and culturally?
I’m very excited to stand by you and support you as we go through these changes. I encourage you to be Semper Gumby and overcome whatever obstacle might be keeping you from joining us online or in-person.