2020 BROUGHT ALL OF US CHALLENGES AND SWITCH UPS, BIG AND SMALL, THAT WE NEVER SAW COMING. IN DECEMBER, WE LOVE A BIT OF PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THE HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS, WHAT WE’RE PROUD OF AND HOW WE’VE CHANGED – AND 2020 PROVIDED US WITH SOME JUICY MORSELS. WE ASKED BODIES BY RYAN HEAD TRAINER RYAN DEVEREUX ALL THE HARD QUESTIONS AND AS USUAL, HE CAME BACK WITH SOME HONEST AND HEARTFELT ANSWERS (SPOILER ALERT – I THINK HE LOVES US ALL A LOT). WE HOPE YOU ENJOY HIS MUSINGS ON 2020 AND WE’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF THIS YEAR… DROP A COMMENT IN THE SOCIALS AND LET’S GET AROUND EACH OTHER’S HIGHLIGHT REEL.
I’m dropping a banger on you straight up… it’s 2040 and you’re reflecting on 2020, how would you describe 2020 to your kids based on what you saw and what you learnt?
Wow, yes big question to kick us off! If I had to describe 2020, I would have to start with the feeling of fear of the unknown, watching the virus spread across the world with no one knowing what was going to happen, how many people it would infect and how badly it would affect them. Then, the thoughts of loved ones, being away from my family and getting locked down… there were just too many variables to comprehend at the start and there was no real answer. But with every obstacle comes a lesson and through the COVID lockdown, I got the serious reset I needed. I had time to reflect, recharge, read and study some online courses. Also, for the first time since opening BBR, I had the opportunity to really go hard and focus on my own training and progress. The fear COVID-19 dissipated for me when I accepted I couldn’t control the virus, I couldn’t control the government’s decisions to close the borders and gyms, and I put all my focus into what I could do. I knew I could create an epic online service for our members and I knew we could still create massive value and connection for anyone stuck at home so that’s where the majority of my focus went to, especially in the first few weeks of the lockdowns.
What have been your greatest challenges this year?
The biggest challenges were definitely all the changes, anticipating a call from Mark McGowan and then changing the business model to whatever restrictions we had. With every change, we had to take the right steps to make sure we hit the ground running. I would talk to as many people as I could about what they thought was going to happen, make a plan, then once the announcement was made I would start building out a programming block that would work within the guidelines, create a price point and then communicate with the BBR members on how we were moving forward.
We went from our normal training in HIIT & Strength to March 22 releasing the first Online Program Block as we had members that wanted to isolate straight away. On the March 23, we had two outdoor sessions running to try and cater for numbers but I’m pretty sure by the March 27 we went all Online and created two membership options for our members. The PDF online workouts or the live online workouts when we had Jay come in to be our BBR model and take everyone through the workouts as I coached via a Zoom monitor (watching everyone get attacked by their dogs, kids, husbands, etc was quite entertaining some mornings!). We also added in a Friday night yoga session and I was offering free nutrition to any one of our members that wanted to stay on track during lockdown.
It was probably the most challenging time to be disciplined with nutrition with everyone working from home and a hop, skip and jump to the biscuit barrel (shout out to Liz Biggs who absolutely dominated this period during COVID), then the challenges continued during the comeback.
Then, we were allowed back to outdoor training and then into the gym a week or so later. Both HIIT & Strength gyms were firing but restrictions on how classes operated and numbers made it difficult to program and deliver sessions I was happy with. The danger tape that Noel Buckland helped lay down with me was an absolute lifesaver as well. What bloke do you know would rock up to the gym on the weekend and stay with you for 9 hours while you rearranged the gym, mark out all the flooring, lay danger tape down, and help set up the classes?!
Lots of little challenges along the way but the biggest challenge personally was having to be reactive. I like to be organised and in control, to have structure and know what’s happening when. COVID took all that control away quickly so I had to learn to listen, pause, pivot and execute!
How did you overcome them or move through them?
I know we were lucky in WA, I have a friend on the East Coast who has 17 gyms, another with a small studio, and various personal trainers that were all shutdown. I always knew I was lucky and still had the opportunity to work so it was again about controlling the controllable and getting the job done!
What were the absolute highlights of the year, tell us the really good bits from personal to business?
The highlights for me are the success stories and transformations within the gyms – Chantel Negri, Liz Biggs, Claire Preston, Georgia Manning and Fiona Crisp immediately come to mind but I could name another 20-30 members who have all kicked serious a*** this year. In the most testing times to rise above and conquer your goals is nothing short of f****** EPIC. There’s nothing more I enjoy than watching members draw the line in the sand and say “ENOUGH, this is my time!” and watch them literally morph in front of my eyes. Personally, right now I’m in the best shape mentally and physically I’ve ever been in. I have a clear goal of what I want and I feel I’ve got the correct structures and support in place to get me there. BBR is flying, I genuinely love getting out of bed every morning to start my day. I love our team, our members, how everything is structured and we have more exciting things just around the corner with new equipment and some exciting things happening in the online space.
What are you most proud of in 2020?
Ah, I’m proud of a lot of things! Without getting too deep, I’m proud of our determination as a business to always achieve better, deliver more and make BBR a second home. I’m proud of our community and how we all helped each other through this year. People like Brenda Bardinet offering to deliver meals and bringing boxes of hand sanitizer into the gym when people were literally fighting for it in supermarkets. There’s so much to love and to be proud of this year. As I sit here writing this, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. What we’ve got here is truly unique and I thank every single member for bringing some level of love and connection to BBR because that what makes this place what it is.
How have you changed this year… like why do you no longer drink the nectar of the energy gods (coffee)… How is Ryan Devereux in December 2020 different to Ryan Devereux December 2019?
Firstly, I haven’t had coffee in almost a year, not by choice but I felt really sick after drinking it. Although in the last week I have found a brand of filter coffee I can have, so I’m heading there on weekends to get my coffee hit.
Ok, my biggest changes would have to be my thoughts on life. I think I’m more grounded now, COVID was humbling, it taught me a lot about myself and I would say it’s made me more resilient. I am just generally really happy, progress makes me happy and I feel I’ve progressed a lot in all areas of my life this year. Knowledge, education, relationships, training, programming, coaching – and a lot of that came through having more time during the lockdown phase. But you can always learn more and be better so that’s what I’m chasing and that’s what I enjoy. I love and enjoy coaching, and the more I learn the more I enjoy it. I love watching people move and train and thinking about how I can make it better/optimal for them.
What are your biggest hopes/dreams/plans for 2021?
Making BBR the best it can be, which will see a lot more of the same we’ve seen this year I hope! More epic transformations, community connections and helping people genuinely feel better about themselves… In terms of growth, I have a few plans up my sleeve but all will be revealed in the New Year!
And a fun one, how does Christmas/festive season look for you this year? What are you, Jay and Forrest up to?
We haven’t had a holiday for well over a year and were meant to head back to Melbourne on the week of the 15th of March when the lockdown happened. We’re down south for a weekend 11th/12th – we have a night at crown in December I think the 18th and then 21/22/23 all at The Ritz for some chill time before Christmas. December is my favorite month I enjoy soaking up the holiday vibes and love being in places where they embrace the Christmas spirit.
ON A FINAL NOTE, I WOULD LOVE TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU AND WELL DONE TO OUR TEAM AT BBR, OUR TRAINERS AND OUR MEMBERS ALL PLAY A HUGE ROLE IN WHAT THIS BUSINESS IS ABOUT. I APPRECIATE YOU ALL AND HAVE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED BEING WITH YOU ALL IN THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF THIS YEAR. WE HAVE MADE IT THROUGH A S***STORM AND CAME OUT BETTER, MORE RESILIENT, WITH MORE GRATITUDE AND A BIGGER APPRECIATION OF WHAT WE GET TO DO EVERY DAY AT BBR!
AS ALWAYS, MUCH LOVE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL THIS WEEK AT THE CHRISTMAS PARTY AND AWARDS NIGHT FOR A WELL-EARNED COCKTAIL.