The scorpion wanted desperately to cross the river. Knowing he couldn’t swim he searched up and down the river bank for a fallen tree or rocks that would allow him to get to the other side. As he searched he came across a frog minding his own business.
The scorpion says to the frog, “can I climb upon your back to get a ride to the opposite side?”. In reply the frog says, “I know what your kind do. There is no way I’ll give you a ride”. With plenty of good PR work and convincing, the frog allows the scorpion to climb up and they start their journey.
About halfway across the expanse the frog feels an almighty STING from the scorpion! As the venom fills his veins and his limbs grow numb, they start to sink. The frog looks up to the scorpion as says, “why? Why would you sting me now? Surely you know we’ll both drown!”. The scorpion looking down with his beady eyes smiles and says, “I couldn’t help it, it was in my nature.”
Although unlikely, this tale holds tremendous application into the journey of ZUU.
My father and friend always said I would have to learn life the hard way (in my nature) and in many ways he was right. The beginning of ZUU was brutal. Not in the physical sense but more on testing my self belief, my nature if you will. After years of training by myself where it was founded I decided to open ZUU HQ. Everyone except my father and mother went out of their way to tell me ZUU would be nothing and it wouldn’t work.
Showing my nature to learn the hard way, my wife and I put our home on the line with a family of 3 kids and one on the way to open ZUU HQ on the Gold Coast back in Dec 2008. I remember my eldest brother saying to me, “Why? why would you risk it all, you could lose everything!”.
No one knew what ZUU was.
The risk we took and pressure we endured was at times overwhelming, even debilitating and I can assure you there were countless occasions questioning self belief. Over time this process solidified our resolve. You see when purpose drives you forward and your self belief burns like the sun, amazing things can happen and today ZUU is performed globally.
Another example of my nature is the amount of brutal sessions I’ve done with my trainers and members over the years at HQ. On many occasions as soon as we’d finish I’d say, “anyone can do that once” and we would literally start the whole session again. I am driven to continually push myself for this breeds resilience.
The greatest value of our journey of ZUU is what it has taught our children. They felt the pressure and know firsthand what it takes to follow your dreams armed only with self belief. I will lay my life down for them to walk over me to find a way through.
Leadership inside ZUU is based on humility and giving to others. You’ll find that those of us at the top are really at the bottom of the ladder. Our roll is to serve as many as we can. Have I been stung over the years? Of course but this is part of being true to your nature. My father and mother raised me old school. To get out of my seat for an elderly person on public transport. Have respect for women my marriage and family. To know my responsibility as a father and to instil these qualities in my bloodline.
Over the years as ZUU grew these qualities naturally intertwined forming ZUU Culture. This is what makes our culture so unique, powerful and authentic. It has never been forced to become something. We literally feel like family when we travel to another city or country and meet others that do ZUU. Its foundations are like rock.
I am both
Like the scorpion, it is in my nature to often choose to learn the hard way. This isn’t necessarily always the wise option especially with good old hindsight but it is who I am. I do not try to deceive myself into becoming someone I am not. This attitude has been crucial especially in the developmental stages of ZUU where resilience was needed as negativity engulfed me.
Like the frog I am driven to serve all I meet doing my utmost to inspire them. Delivering ZUU into sectors other than the elite world is an example of this. ZUU Chimps has been delivered into fully disabled schools with kids with cerebral palsy in wheelchairs to severe autism. They have integrated ZUU for it takes care of the social, mental and physical aspects of health. The reward for me and those delivering this program around the world is soul enriching and reminds us all of one of the pillars of ZUU, humility.
As you peer deeper into the journey of ZUU, you will see why and how it transcends mere fitness.
ZUU was born purely from self belief and continues to expand globally for it feeds the fundamental needs of being human.