I have had a
lot few sleepless nights this week, laying in the dark blinking at the ceiling trying to get my arms around the fact that it’s almost January. Back when trio was actually a trio, last Spring when we were strategizing and planning and birthing our baby, several times we commented about just making it to January, when we would be bustling and busy and getting ahead and replenishing the ‘cushion’ money we spent during opening. If we can just make it to January, we said, even though it would be hectic and crowded and a little bit out of control, we’d actually be able to relax a bit. Because it’s the busy season for the fitness industry. The period of time you wait for all year long. Harvest time. Like February for Hallmark. Even if we were just mediocre, we’d still experience a surge in business. And trio is not mediocre. Not even close.
So fast forward 6 months and we are down one partner, up four or so new class formats, and standing on the brink of The Season. The past six months have changed me. Opening a fitness studio has little to do with loving being a Zumba teacher. And I? LOVED being a Zumba teacher. And one awesome thing I have learned about myself since we opened is that I’m actually more than just a good Zumba teacher. My love for Zumba has evolved into a love for fitness and for teaching/coaching. I can say now that I’m a good Fitness Instructor. I’m proud of that.
Unfortunately, teaching good classes no longer gets to be my first priority. There is a whole lot of business involved in running a business. And our third partner and business manager bailed. One day the three of us are together in my living room celebrating my daughter’s birthday and high-fiving over the enrollment numbers in a boot camp, and 4 days later Samantha and I wake up to an email saying “The stress is too much, I need to quit, please call the landlord and the bank and the utilities and take my name off of everything. Hope I can still come work out with you though!”
Yeah. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.
See, Samantha and I were indeed running ragged all over town teaching here, there and yonder. But it was this third partner that came to us with the dream of opening a studio. “I’ve always wanted to do this” her first email to me said. “I want 2 or three classrooms, and locker rooms, and memberships. Would you ever be interested in something like this?”
Well. We got interested. We made the decision to join forces, and we all held hands and jumped together.
Except that we weren’t quite together. Obviously. Because the last article written about the studio? Was titled “The DUO behind TRIO.”
There have been times that I’ve actually been jealous of that third ‘partner’. Because within days of that email, she’d rejoined the gym we all came from, and just kind of absolved herself the stress of being a business owner. Of making sure we make payroll and that our customer service is second to none and that we make real connections with the people walking through our door. Sometimes I wish I sent the email first. I mean, are you kidding me? This is hard fricking work! We set the bar HIGH when we opened trio’s doors. Our instructors are TOP NOTCH. Our sound system is BOOMING. Our events are PROFESSIONAL. Our students feel like they BELONG. Our attention to detail is UNPARALLELED. To say that running this kind of business is exhausting? Doesn’t even begin to cover it.
So no wonder number three wanted out.
But in leaving, she created a lot more for Samantha and me. So the thing that I loved most, that made me want to open a studio in the first place, continues to fall further from the top of the list. But it is the reason we HAVE a business, so letting our aches and pains and frustrations and tensions show is not permissible or professional and it won’t keep the business going strong. Because as much as it is a happy place, a place where we have not just made friends, but have added to our FAMILY, and a place where we can be real, it is also a business.
I forgot where I was going with this.
Oh! Yes. January.
So here we sit with the pressure of January looming. It will be the best of times (holy crapballs you guys, you should SEE our SCHEDULE! Fitness parties and special guests and just total amazingness!) and it will be the worst of times (being down a second partner for 2 weeks smack dab in the middle of it all, being on the schedule for all but 3 days the whole month) but this is it. This is the month we’ve been waiting for. What if we’ve done everything wrong in getting ready for our busy season, and we won’t have enough room or enough offerings or enough towels? Or, what if we’ve done everything right in getting ready for our busy season but the people just don’t come?
Who knows. All I know is that we didn’t bail on our members and our family when it would have been much easier to do so. And the fact that I have ugly cried numerous times in the last week from emails, Christmas cards, and texts from students and colleagues who are in the same “preparing for the new year” state of mind that I am, who are saying “you don’t understand what trio means to me” means that there is no place in the world I would rather be, and no person I would rather be doing it with.
I am not really a resolution maker. But I am a goal setter. And one of my goals is to find my way back to my blog. MrsFatass isn’t over. And I have a feeling 2014 is going to be her year.
Merry Christmas ya’ll.