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The year was 1997. My palms were sweaty. I’d just put brand new batteries in my Game Boy Color. I’d made sure to save my game once again, just in case. I consulted my game manual one last time. There was nothing left to do.

It was finally time: I was ready to take on the Elite Four. The best of the best. The final test at the end of my favorite game at the time, Pokemon Red Version. 

I had to battle five trainers in a row (yes five, even though they’re called the Elite Four), with no access to healing or revivals. I wanted to make darn sure I was ready. I couldn’t have any weak links on my team. Each member of my team had an array of stats that I needed to level up. Things like Agility, Attack, and Defense. Maxing out each one would be vital for our team’s survival! 

My heart pounded as I proceeded through the last door before the battles began. 

“THIS IS IT!” I thought. “I’ve worked my whole life for this!” Which felt totally true at the time, since I was in the fourth grade after all. This was serious business. 

The first trainer appeared. “Haha! You’ll never beat me!” she said. 

I knocked out all six of her Pokemon with just my first one. 

It turns out, having all your Pokemon being 40 levels higher than the competition makes the tough battles pretty darn easy. All my preparation had paid off.

I breezed through the Elite Four and became a Pokemon Master. (Yes, I do autographs, but just one per person please)

I don’t play Pokemon much anymore, though it’s still a go-to on long road trips or waits at the airport. But I’m still working on leveling up my stats.

Working out, eating my veggies, drinking water, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and building strong relationships are my stat categories now. Every day I’m working to keep building up these pieces to a healthy life. And every day I’m helping our members find ways to up their game in these aspects of their own best self. 

The stronger and more consistent we get in these categories, the more resilience we have in our everyday life when things get hard, and the easier our everyday life becomes. 

In the video game, you knew exactly when the Elite Four was coming. You could wait until you were ready before taking them on.

In real life, you never really know when your big battles are going to start. It’s important to work a little bit every day to level up those life stats, so when hard times come, you can make it through to the next phase. There’s no special potions, cheat codes, or easy outs. All we can do is try to be ready when these things happen.

That’s exactly what our Ripple Effect program does. It’s called a General Preparedness Program, or GPP for short. We combine fun but challenging workouts, trusting and supportive relationships, and better nutrition & lifestyle habits to help our members level up a little bit every day. 

If you join our team, no matter when your battle with the Elite Four starts, you’ll be ready!