One thing that has kept me too busy to write regularly is that I had a (work) baby. Samantha and I (and a lovely third lady who doesn’t have a blog for me to link to) gave birth to a group fitness studio on June 1st. The gestation was long – trio fitness was conceived over a year ago, and branding began long before we had an actual studio – but labor was short. About 2 months from first meeting with a new partner to the opening of the doors.
And all of a sudden I’ve gone from a person with a dream to a person with responsibility to execute that dream in such a way that people’s paychecks don’t bounce and the lights stay on.
There has been a lot about this process that has been lovely, and yes, a lot like the excitement when a baby is born. We received a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our opening day. Lots of hugs and happy tears and cards with sentimental words and also a hell of a lot of advice. People stopped by to offer assistance – to get the mirrors unloaded or to help build our platform or to hang our mailbox or decipher an instruction manual or to tell us who to talk to at the paper that will write a really good article. Overall I have been just knocked over by all of the people who really want to see us succeed; who understand our vision and believe in our mission and who were willing to look past those first few hot weeks until we got the AC system right or got banners in the windows to block the blinding afternoon sun, and who will still bring friends and coworkers and acquaintances with them every time they come to class because they know who we are on the inside and believe wholeheartedly that the kinks will get worked out (and the dressing room will soon be emptied of the odds and ends) and that the studio will be fabulous. That it already IS fabulous.
Ironically I guess, lots of the things we were able to do in the year leading up to opening the studio are a lot harder to do now. Every day I think of someone I should reach out to, who hasn’t been to class in a while and who might need to know they are missed. Every day after class I want to post a picture and tag everyone and give a virtual high five for all their hard work. Every day I want to be able to send a text to someone who I know is working hard and feeling like it’s not enough. But sometimes I just can’t fit it all in now. Sometimes it’s all I can do just to connect with all of the people who are standing in front of me during a class, making sure I say hello and thank you and frick an A right you did that pushup. Sometimes now, after I’ve sent calendars to print and figured out everyone’s schedule and answered the phone 10 times a day (ack!) and washed a load of towels, sometimes when I get home I just don’t have anything left.
And that sucks. Because my students haven’t become any less special.
So there has been some B-Side. And the truth is our opening did ruffle some feathers. Some people didn’t like our exits at other gyms or studios in order to open our own doors. Some people felt we deserted them. And I hate that, I really do. Because my heart is still full of those people, but sometimes you have to make a hard decision. Sometimes you have to just take a turn and go your own way.
I had a rough day today and at one point somebody said “what kind of a person are you?” It was a rhetorical question, of course, but that didn’t stop me from formulating about a million different answers in my head. I mean, I’ve lived with myself almost 40 years now so I doubt there is anybody alive who is more familiar with my shortcomings than I am. I’m willing to own any truth about myself, flattering or otherwise, but it must be just that. A truth. I won’t be responsible for living up to anyone’s fabrication.
I am familiar with my strengths, too, for the record. Some of them. But I don’t think the question was about those.
If I got to actually answer that question, I’d say I’m equal parts intuitive and ignorant about how best to raise this baby. Sometimes I’ll get it right, sometimes I’ll screw things up. And sometimes I’ll ignore advice I should heed. But I am blessed. Surrounded by people professionally who are the best at what they do, and surrounded by people personally who are the best at being who they are, and if that saying about you being the company you keep is even 1% true, then the kind of person I am must be pretty effing awesome, because that is who I am surrounded by. I am surrounded by awesome.
What kind of a person are you?