What I’ve noticed


It’s been more than a week since I put out an article. I do apologize but then again I also take it back. Any writer can tell you this is a hard job and often a thankless one and the process can be mentally exhaustive. I’ve written over 190 articles since starting this blog and that’s just the ones that I published or didn’t delete. I look back at everything I’ve written the last two years and I see quite the transformation. When I first started this site Gwen and I were die-hard obstacle racing enthusiasts. That has slowly migrated towards more serious weight training and finally into CrossFit. Now I’m a month out from getting my CF-L1 certification and 3-4 months out from opening our own gym. It’s been a long road and we’re just getting started, but I wanted to share a few things I’ve noticed along the way.

First off let me tell you that teaching and coaching fitness can become a very repetitive and monotonous career; especially if you are unfortunate enough to work in a place where numbers through the door are the driving focus. Most people want fitness but they don’t want to have to work for it and once it becomes evident that the path to their goals will involve actual sweat and sacrifice most will turn back. A few won’t and that’s what keeps me going in this industry. I live to help those that have hearts that can’t be beat and refuse to give up. All the rest though I’d like to tell to go fuck off and stop wasting my time. That probably wouldn’t go over so well but then again that’s never stopped me before. This is primarily a business all about people, but sometimes you have to be willing to say “fuck People!” What’s right is right even if you’re the only one doing it and what’s wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it.

A lot of people looking in think that fitness trainers are little more than expensive pool boys and clipboard holders. Unfortunately given how easy it is to get certification these days most personal trainers I know are pretty much worthless as coaches and teachers. Too many new trainers today have little real experience in this trade outside of a few years working out themselves. The other issue is a lot of trainers are focused only on numbers and collecting as many clients as possible with little thought to their client’s goals, needs, or motivations. Of course there’s a flip-side to this in that I know some trainers who spoil clients so much and allow them so much leeway and room for excuses and bullshit that it pretty much makes it impossible for anyone else to help them short of a nanny or psychiatric hospital warden. I’ve made a promise to myself to never become one of these trainers and to do everything I can to make top level fitness training affordable and individually tailored to every client.

We were going to move to Melbourne when the lease ran up this summer. Bradenton while certainly interesting and fun is not a great market for training and we were looking for a more youthful crowd more in line with our own interests and less likely to be collecting social security and bitching about the liberal commies ruining the country. After casting around though and searching high and low we are in fact heading back to Tennessee; home sweet redneck home. There are several reasons for this, one being that in the time we’ve been gone the Nashville metro area and suburbs have gained an appreciation for CF and the style of training we prefer. I’m sure we can thank Rich Froning and Dan Bailey for this as their box CrossFit Mayhem is just an hour to the east of there. The cost of living is ridiculously cheap too and most importantly I just cannot stand this oppressive Florida heat anymore. Seriously I need 2-3 showers a day with this freaking humidity.

I’ve spent most of my adult life as a country boy and redneck and I want to go back somewhere where I can wear jeans and boots and not give a shit about what kind of accent I have. I also miss people that don’t bullshit you all the time and aren’t constantly engaged in a pissing contest about who has the biggest house, nicest car, and can send their kid to a private school. I think the things that has wore down the most here is that most of the people I’ve worked with and taught CrossFit and weightloss to; were doing it not because they are passionate about fitness but because CrossFit has at least in this area become the next new collectible thing for the rich. In our area now the going rate for an unlimited box membership is over $380.00 a month. Right now you can join Rich Froning’s box for $125. That’s not to say I haven’t met some great people here because I have. Many of my former clients are decent hard working blue collar folks and I will miss their friendship and company. But the ones that you remember most are always the ones that pissed you off and disrespected you every day.

I guess in the end I just miss the terrain, the woods, rocks, and green hills. Florida has been great and living by the ocean wonderful and if I can find somewhere less tropical by the sea to plant my stakes one day we probably will. For now though we’re headed back to the hills and to a slower pace. Wherever you’re at when you read this ask yourself what it is that you love most about being there. If you’re ready for a change of scenery then what’s keeping you there? A lot of people think Gwen and me are crazy for the way we are willing to just pack up and move, but I’ve realized how pointless and wasteful it is to spend time in a place you hate. I recognize how fortunate we are; Gwen works remote and most of my clients are now online but if you could pack up and leave would you?

So here’s the last little nugget of wisdom for you. They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s not entirely true. I love my career but I work my ass off. I put in 16 hour days regularly and often work 7 days a week the difference is that it’s worth it though. I would and do, do this job for free. I got into this to help people and freely dispense advice and help to anyone that asks. I see a nation of people in trouble and in need of guidance and it’s my nation. I guess I could just say screw it it’s not my problem but I recognize that’s not going to help it get any better. One day my kids will inherit the world we leave them. What we’re doing right now will determine the quality of that world.

One Comment Add yours

  1. rchackman says:

    Nice to hear some real talk. Great post! From what I can glean from this post, it seems like success will find you if you keep at it. You’ve already won the battle by finding an area of work that you enjoy doing. I am coming from the other side where I only like a very small part of my job. I hope that I can find work that motivates me to work hard, in and of itself, because I find some enjoyment in the process.

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