AUTHORS NOTE: I wrote this the day we closed our gym. I've reprinted it here because I like it and I think there is value to be had in my story. Originally written February 28, 2022.
Today, after nearly 3 decades, is my last day in the fitness industry and I’m walking away with my head held high.
When I walked into the coaches office at the University of Northern Colorado 27 years ago I didn’t know what my career would look like but I knew two things.
I knew I was going to lead other people to better health and performance and…. I was going to do it my way.
That’s just what I did.
I coached individuals to collegiate national championships and high school district championships.
I coached teams that qualified for nationals and teams that won league and district titles.
As a person trainer I helped several people lose 100+ points, many to run a marathon, several to perform their first pull up, and countless others to just simply look and feel better.
I’ve written hundreds of blog posts and have been published in local, regional and national publications.
I’ve been interviewed for regional and national television programs and interviewed for several podcasts.
I’ve been a head trainer, a wellness director and I’ve opened gyms.
I’ve made my mark on the fitness industry in the last 3 decades.
Today I step away.
Was I successful?
You see, it’s not for you or the masses to judge whether I’ve been successful, or if this journey has been one that has provided value.
It’s this question that I hold to myself: Did I make a difference in the world and in this industry?
I gave everything I had to the fitness industry and it gave me everything in return and for that I am grateful.
The measure of my success or failure lies, in my judgment, in two things that are on my heart as I close the door in this chapter of my life.
As I look back on all the people that I’ve worked with over the years it’s clear that many quit along the way. Many failed to reach their goals. I rubbed people the wrong way. People didn’t like my style. Many people didn’t get me and my methods.
All that is fine because that’s on them.
I did it my way and I’ve always known that my way wasn’t for everyone.
But it was the right way for a lot of people.
The first thing on my heart is something that is extraordinarily important to me but most people don’t know or don’t think about.
As I look at my social media I am reminded on a daily basis that I have impacted many that have gone on to lead others. There are dozens of fitness leaders that, at one time, either were my client or worked for me.
Some own gyms, some run boot camps, same are personal trainers or coaches… but all of them make a difference in the lives of others. I had a part in that. Some people were inspired by me and wanted to lead as well and some did it to spite me and that’s alright as well.
To stand back and see the lasting legacy that I have is truly inspiring and humping. I’m proud of that.
The last thing.
The other night I was leading a class at No Limits Fitness. As I looked around the room I saw something very profound and noteworthy to my heart.
Of the people in the room more than half I had met some 8, 9, 10 or even 12 years ago. Some had gone away and come back and others have been with me the entire time but, either way, it was definitely a thought that made my heart happy.
I’ve said this already but it bares repeating: my way wasn’t for everyone. There are many more out there that didn’t like me or I failed to impact and, truly, that’s fine by me.
With that said, seeing the people that I did impact staying with my for years and years makes this journey worthwhile no matter what anyone says.
In closing I will say that I walk away from this industry knowing I made a mark and that was my intention all alone. I outlasted many. I learned to adapt. I did my absolute best….
… I did it my way.
Before I close I will share a text message that I received just the other day from someone that has been a friend and client for more than a dozen years. The content of this text makes the journey worth all the time and the effort.
“Thanks for making me a better athlete and person.”
Head. Held. High.