Life from the Heart of Desolation

Dare To Evolve OasisExactly four years ago I sat in the oasis of a desert. I’d awoken just before sunrise and walked around a beautiful lake in the middle of desolation. As I sat overlooking the simple yet glowing mountains, made to appear twice their size by the reflection given off the waters surface, I wrote down three words. Three words offered to me in that moment. A gift. Dare To Evolve.

Together, they struck a truth at the very core of who I am. No shrouds or complication by the reasoning (or fear) of my mind. Plain and clear as the mountains I saw. They held depth as apparent as the reflection reaching into the lake. Three words that promised an expansiveness outward as high as the sky above and a fathomless journey inward as deep as the sky below.

Little did I know just how significant those three words, written on that paper, in that moment would prove to be in the expression of my service to my fellow man and the gifts it is I am meant to share in this life.

Dare To Evolve became the slogan for the company I created: Gymnos Evolution. “Gymnos” is the latin root for naked. I chose that because only when we stand ‘naked’, open and honest before ourselves, can we truly begin to evolve. Through Gymnos Evolution I offered personal training and fitness classes. And from the get go the struggle began. I struggled to identify myself with the very industry I’d chosen to be a part of. Honestly, I didn’t care about giving you a 6 pack or the body of your dreams. Neither did I want to perpetuate a septic cycle that keeps us chained down from discovering our true potential. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting in the best shape of our lives. But in a way that is tied to using that experience and journey to get the best FROM our lives, thus providing a platform from which perpetual growth can occur.

But I didn’t know how to say: “This is what I do, what I offer and how I do it.”

So Gymnos Evolution and the last 4 years became for me a “purifier” of sorts. A kiln wherein the excess, the useless and the unnecessary slag was burned away in the fires within. During this time I:

  • questioned incessantly
  • let go of it all
  • drove with unrelenting force
  • rode the wave that propelled me
  • committed unequivocally
  • detached unquestioningly
  • discovered a system of health and physical vitality (Scott Sonnon’s Circular Strength Training) that complimented my internal process for using physical exercise to enhance my growth as a human being
  • refined my ability to express that process that had been developing within me over the last decade
  • became part of a family and team (CST/TACFIT) that both challenged and supported me unlike any I have had the honor of being associated with to date
  • created from the heart
  • held back
  • put it all out there

For 3 1/2 years I was hurled around in an inferno of paradoxes, let out ever so briefly only to get hammered on. The very friction I needed to get to where I was striving to arrive at. Then all of a sudden the intensity it provided went up in a puff of smoke. Like the blaze was suddenly extinguished and the latch lifted, as I stumbled out. It felt quiet. Simple. Like I was back out in that desert, sitting by the lake, connecting with what lay at the heart of who I am.

Over the last 6 months I’ve dusted away the soot, chipped off the final chunks that tenaciously held on and applied a bit of spit and polish to see what came out of all that.

You know what I found? Three simple words with the power of infinite potential.

With Dare To Evolve now taking it’s rightful place at the forefront, I have fully connected to what resides at my heart. I can now pledge, with clear certainty, to do what I’d set out to from the beginning. To be of service in connecting you to what resides at yours.

Dare To Evolve,


Shane Heins is the founder and owner of Dare To Evolve.