Every Descent Has An Ascent

Recognising opportunities amidst tough times may be the best approach to helping your fitness business survive, according to Dr Michael R Mantell, PhD.

No one faces the light of morning without first facing the dark of night.

Those with the capacity to “imagine” beyond what exists, are the ones able to accept COVID-19 for the opportunities it inspires. These business frontrunners grasp the veiled law of the entrepreneurial universe: That every descent is followed by an ascent.

COVID-19 has shaken up the lives of all of us.

For some, this pandemic has shifted their lives in a better direction, but for a record number of others, they find themselves in an emotional tailspin of anxiety, stress, loneliness, fear and depression that’s gotten in the way of living healthier, happier and longer lives. Some are ready to give up. Others choose to live by the notion that, “even those things that stop me, won’t stop me.” One group whines over the challenges, the other looks to the future and welcomes the fuel that they know this challenge provides.
In my consulting work I’ve observed that people most attached to the way they believe things “should” be, are often those who suffer the most. Those with the resilient awareness to seize on the prospect that nothing is really broken, nothing is a mistake, are best placed to face this pandemic’s innate opportunities.

Emerging fitness industry titans are emotionally unburdened. They are emboldened to double-down on their commitment to serve as a resource for others and are vitalised by the ability to create a more holistic and accessible system for tomorrow’s inevitably converging fitness-healthcare industry. They aren’t gasping about welcoming back what was, but are rather aflame, looking forward to what will be.

This is the gift that trailblazers are using to regroup, reevaluate, refresh their inner will to sidestep despair, and instead, reach higher than they ever visualised they could. I firmly believe COVID-19 is telling us it’s time to contemplate rotating away from yesterday’s siloed fitness gym business model, that’s becoming starkly limited, and forge a paradigm shift towards an innovative, collaborative convergence with the multi-systemic revolution taking place in healthcare.

Who is far-seeing, inventive, and resourceful enough to create tomorrow’s “Optimal Health Centre,” merging personalised health with exercise, mind/body education, and lifestyle medicine? Those who fit the bill, will thrive through this pandemic with vigour and prosperity.


Here are six reviving questions to help you move towards creating a powerful new business model:

  1. How have you transformed a hurdle into a success?
  2. What did it feel like when you acknowledged that an achievement occurred because of a challenge, not in spite of it?
  3. What beliefs have you had to lay to rest to be able to move forward?
  4. How have you converted your “comfort zone” into your “stretch zone,” where you’re more likely to take reasonable chances?
  5. What simple goals are you setting to build your new program?
  6. How are you focusing on what your business can become, instead of what it’s been?



Dr Michael R Mantell, PhD

Dr Michael R Mantell is a Behaviour Science Expert and the author of four books. He has more than 45 years’ experience helping people to create lasting positive change using his science and compassion-based rational emotive behaviour coaching methods. Dr Mantell’s column features in Arianna Huffington’s “Thrive Global”, which provides “Emotional Education Through COVID-19” through easy-to-use tools, genuine support and no-nonsense information to help them thrive and grow through – not just “survive” – these emotionally unsettling times of COVID-19. He’s an in-demand keynote speaker for leading health and fitness conferences around the world, and in 2013, named him among “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness”. Dr Mantell has brought psychology to the public since the 1980s in broadcast and print media including The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. To learn more