Are We the 1%?

I recently saw a gym refer to it’s members as “the 1%.” My guess is this wasn’t some sort of nostalgic whiplash to the heady days of Occupy Wall Street, but something more specific to what they do. It’s a familiar sentiment in many fitness circles—an elite badge of honor, a claim that they are among the few willing to go harder, push further, and do what others won’t. I’m sure sometimes it feels that way, and it’s easy to look at other people in your life who don’t share your passion as it relates to fitness and create a narrative about why. But who is that really helping? And if the purpose of our gym is to help, to serve, does thinking in that manner really align with our values? I think we can do better.

The Heretics Among Us?

In Patrick Hanlon’s “Primal Branding,” he introduces the concept of “the heretics.” These are the outsiders, the ones who don’t belong to the tribe. Defining these heretics, according to Hanlon, is crucial for a successful brand. It makes the insiders feel special, chosen, and distinct. CrossFit mastered this strategy, creating a community of devotees who see themselves as enlightened warriors, set apart from the so-called lazy masses.

This approach has worked wonders for some gyms. They’ve created tight-knit communities where members take pride in being part of the elite. But there’s a flipside: it also fosters an “us vs. them” mentality, where those not within the fold are viewed with disdain or pity. It may be good business, but it’s a shitty way to treat your fellow human.

Lumos: The 99%

Here at Lumos, we see things a bit differently. Fitness, to us, is not about creating a division between the elite and everyone else. It’s about inclusivity, support, and growth. We believe that the only prerequisite to being part of our community is a desire to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

So, rather than positioning ourselves as the 1%, we proudly represent the 99%—the masses who strive for better lives, who face challenges and setbacks, and who lean on their community for strength, guidance, and perspective. We’re not here to be exclusive; we’re here to be a beacon for anyone seeking a positive change.

The Real Heretics: Systemic Forces

If we must designate a “heretic” or a “1%” to stand against, why not make it the systemic forces that obstruct and exploit people’s efforts to make healthier choices. Think about it: the real barriers to fitness and wellness often come from the larger systems at play—whether it’s government policies, big pharma, or societal norms around food and lifestyle.

These are the forces that deserve our collective ire. They make it harder for individuals to thrive, too often putting profits over people. By targeting these culprits, we “aim up” rather than “aim down.” Instead of demonizing the most vulnerable among us, we focus our energy on dismantling the barriers that hold them back.

Aiming Upward

At Lumos, we strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, where the pursuit of fitness is a shared journey, and where the community lifts each other up. We reject the notion that we are the enlightened few and instead embrace our role as part of the broader human experience.

Let’s face it—life is tough, and making healthier choices isn’t always easy. But with the support of a community that understands, encourages, and inspires, those choices become a little less daunting. We aim to be the collective strength that propels each other forward, not the gatekeepers of an exclusive club.

So, are we the 1%? Nope, and we don’t want to be. We are the 99%, and we’re proud of it. Together, we can tackle the real heretics and create a world where fitness and wellness are truly accessible to all. Join us, and let’s redefine what it means to be part of a fitness community—one that champions inclusivity, compassion, and shared progress.

Final Thoughts

Next time you walk through the doors of Lumos, remember: you’re not alone. You’re part of a vibrant, supportive community that believes in the power of collective effort. Let’s aim upward, challenge the true obstacles, and make fitness a journey for everyone. Here’s to the 99%—here’s to us.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to be part of the 99%? Share your thoughts, join the conversation, and let’s keep moving forward together.