Chew On It: Things Happen For a Reason

If things happen for a reason, then it must have been preordained and that totally makes no sense to me as it assumes there is a force that determines our life journey.

Our life’s journey is determined by the choices we make and the actions we take. Opportunities will come and go but what makes the difference is what we do after the event.

Before opening Elixr at Bondi Junction, I owned the building on Spring Street Bondi Junction which Fitness First now occupies. I tried to open Elixr in the building, but I could not meet the bank’s requirements, I even attempted to partner up with FF but that was not successful.

Knowing I tried my best and doors just did not open, Fitness First was given the opportunity to extend their lease.

I heard through the grapevine in 2004, that Easts Leagues Club was seeking a health club operator for their space. The moment I informed my property partner to offer the lease extension to FF, I rang Easts regarding my interest and I was informed they were close to securing an operator, but they allowed my last-minute proposal.

Amazingly and fortunately, Easts accepted my proposal as it was so different to all the other proposals they had as they were all the usual health clubs’ model of that time. Elixr remains to be different from the pack as we offer a relaxed peaceful environment with a focus on specialising in Pilates and Yoga.

In early 2000 I wondered how long the interest in Pilates would continue and 20 years later Pilates attraction is growing and there are now many small Pilates studios popping up all over and fitness chains expanding their programs to include Pilates.

The advantage of Elixr Pilates is linked with the Japanese principle I follow, Kaizen, the pursuit of excellence.

I am the greatest advocate and critic of Pilates. An advocate as I see the immense benefits of Pilates in core strength and precision of techniques. A critic as I saw so many myths and misinformation about Pilates.

Hence the scientific route was taken to modernise Pilates with scientific and evidence-based information. The greatest influence came from Dr Stuart McGill who is a Canadian professor of Spinal Biomechanics and his researched information made logical sense in guiding our Pilates and fitness programs.

The fact is most fitness professionals are still caught in the dark ages and teaching potentially dangerous exercises with a monkey see monkey do mentality with little understanding of anatomy and biomechanics.

Elixr Pilates is different to the days when we first started in 2002, and I know it will continue to change for the better as more scientific studies on exercise physiology come to light.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” As Winston Churchill has said, also backing it up with, “There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.”

I digressed! A reflection of the many voices in my mind.

Going back to life’s opportunities, good things and bad things will happen to every single person. Each time we are forced to take a different direction in life, the joy and benefit of that path are what we make of it.

Continuously looking back while trying to move on, will only result in going nowhere.

My life has been full of difficulties and an abundance of joy. The abundance of joy has come about as I consciously make decisions to make it so.

The key to me is not to have or develop a victim mentality, as that is a sure way to discontentment and unhappiness.

Here is a brief of some very difficult times in my life;

Leaving my family and the comfort of life in Malaysia at 11 years old to a boarding school in Sydney was most traumatising but I learnt to survive and thrive and be independent.

Dropping out of university in my last year while attempting a mathematics degree was rather scary but I carved my destiny in the fitness world.

Bankrupt from owning a restaurant business in 2000 after having sold my first fitness business Healthland but I found a way back to my passion in setting up Elixr.

The most difficult thing is dealing with the horrendous tragedy of losing my daughter, this one is a lifelong challenge of learning to live with an abyss of pain while seeking joy and noticing the beauty of life. I have often said, I am the happiest and saddest person at the same time.

There is plenty of joy and beauty to experience, but it is a matter of working at it with the support and guidance of family, friends, and professional help.

There is only one chance in life, do what it takes to make the most out of it.