GRIT GYM opened January 17th, 2011.
It had been an interesting quarter of a year. I'd bought a house 3 months prior, presented to the bank (which had all but told me there wasn't much of a chance they'd back me), sweated it out until the loan was approved (took a breath of relief for the first time in days), and attempted to open in 6 weeks. To say it was a crazy time is a bit of an understatement, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It lets you know that you're alive.
It's easy to look back on things and feel good about them. At this point it's been long enough that I can have an outsiders perspective. If I hadn't lived it I'd look at it like it wasn't that big of a deal, and at the time I didn't even feel like it was. I was just being me and doing the next thing that needed to be done. All that does is make me think of how much I would've done differently, which isn't much. To be honest, I over prepared (a lot).
H/e, I would've bought a different house, I would've taken a bigger loan, I would've hired Andrew Rauen (even if he is fat....he can still move a lot of weight), taken on more space, etc etc.
But I realize, that is before GRIT GYM had ever proved anything, I didn't know what level of business would "actually" roll through the door. I hoped and projected and worked but that doesn't mean anything if nothing happens.
Then I remember where I was before opening day, before I presented to the bank, before I first showed my best friend's dad (a successful entrepeneur) the business plan and he said I had a lot of work to do (which made me feel like I'd just taken a shot of piss), and the truth is that before that I had been busting my ass for a piece of shit mom and pop shop so called "athletic club" and before that a Globo Gym (both of which should not exist), both of which barely making enough to pay rent let alone eat. There were months where I ate, almost exclusively, eggs and oatmeal b/c they are cheap yet still good for you. I'd rather call myself an interesting person, but if you really knew me you'd see how weird as shit I actually am. (I mean seriously, I wrote this: one life, and A Tattoo Story, I guess I never really caught on to that "normal" thing). Before all of this though were the people that said I'd never make it. All of them can go stick it up their ass.
The thing is that if I hadn't starved, and Dave hadn't told me that business plan needed major work, and if that loan hadn't been approved....I'd still be working at a miserable glorified tennis club, wondering how I was going to pay my mortgage, living on eggs and oatmeal and generally hating life until I found another way to start the gym. Most people don't know what that feels like, and neither did I. You find out some things about yourself when times get bad like that.
So it's easy to look back and be critical, but really I can't complain much about how it all happened.
It's been a great experience. I work w/ some incredible people. The results they've been able to achieve are ridiculous. It's quite simply been better than I'd even imagined it to be.
A year ago on January 16th, 2011 right before midnight I finally sat down (for what seemed like the first time in days) on the floor and looked at the gym. I'll remember this forever. I was all alone and it was a very surreal feeling like I was asking myself if I'd really just done this (I still get it, every now and then, when I'm walking out the door). I probably sat there for an hour (seriously), contemplating everything (pretty SOP for me).
Last night I walked by one of the spaces I had originally wanted to open in. Took me right back to 2 years ago when I walked by that same building w/ a friend talking about it. Back when it was just a dream.
Pretty sure I can still do the original song (w/o it playing) from beginning to end.
To look back now, it's very interesting. I couldn't be more appreciative of everyone that has been part of this, and has supported me. I have no doubt that this coming year will be interesting as well.
If I had a few things I'm glad I've figured out along the way in this life it's that:
- People can knock you off course but it's up to you whether they hold you back or not
- A relentless spirit goes a long way
- Once you "think" you know everything, be scared, it's time to dig deeper b/c that's a bad position to be in
Thanks to all of you that have been a part of this. It means more than you know.