it’s been almost a year since my last blog post. i want to say thank you to the people who bought our book, and to the people who have emailed me…asking what’s going on–letting me know we’re missed. as to the future of this website–i have no idea. i think about it often, but still don’t know. our lives have changed dramatically in the last year. here’s what’s going on…
The Journey to Now
I had been the manager and a trainer at Carolina CrossFit in Columbia, SC from 2010 to early 2013. Because of my own experience with joining that gym (extreme intimidation), I started and taught most of the free introduction classes, designed their logo, website and t-shirts, managed the website, and member billing. We had even painted, and planted a natural area (on our own time) to help make the place look less creepy. We organized and ran all the extra-curricular events–Dirty Dozen (a lock-in style overnight event), Christmas Eve Smack Down, random potlucks and fundraisers. Those were the fun days.
By 2013, Brandon and I had both come on full-time, under the mutual expectation that we would be buying-in to the gym. (When I started working at Carolina CrossFit, there were 50 members. By the time we left they were bursting at the seams with around 400.) We had the owners and their kids over to our house for dinner (we tested our pizza crust recipe in the book on them), had formal meetings, and discussed dollar figures and equity percentages. So, to us, this was serious. When we pressed them about looking at financial documents, they kept giving us the run-around. Weeks went by without any further discussions, and they started acting weird. That’s when we realized we were being strung along. Brandon had quit his freaking job so we could buy-in and co-own this place, and now we were stuck–making a combined salary that was less than what he pulled in at his desk job. We had a very, very sour taste in our mouths. We decided it was time to look into the possibility of doing our own thing. We had to look out for ourselves. The owner we had worked our butts off for sure wasn’t going to.
This is where things got juicy/nasty. When we first thought about opening our own place, we had called a commercial real estate agent about a place we saw. We wanted to look inside, see what it cost, ya know. Welp, this agent ended up calling the owner of Carolina CrossFit, looking for us! It was really, really weird. We hadn’t even decided if opening our own CrossFit was even feasible, but it sure as eff was now! We were gone by the end of that week. Friends of ours at CrossFit Rivalry were gracious enough to let us workout with them until we could get things going on our end.
And that’s when all the gossip started. We were disloyal, we betrayed them, we had “started construction while still being employed there and were opening in 2 months.” That was a tough time. We were run through the mud…and couldn’t defend ourselves. But now, I don’t feel so bad about talking about what happened. I have a voice, and I want people to hear our side of the story. I’m tired of looking like a schmuck, because we did what ANYONE would do if they were put in this position.
And one more thing, the CrossFit Affiliate Owner contract states that the owner cannot use non-compete contracts to keep trainers from opening their own CrossFit affiliate. Don’t let them scare you into signing one. It’s not legally binding. Just FYI.
Our Own Thing
We ended up finding a spot by sheer, drive-by, luck in April of 2013. We’re right beside Williams-Brice Gamecock Football Stadium. It’s a pretty sweet spot. It’s definitely got an electric energy around it. We signed the lease, waited for our CrossFit affiliate approval and started demo’ing the inside of the space. We had rolled out 2 tracks of rubber, and invited our friends to come workout with us in the midst of all rubble.
It took us about 10 months to open. It was such an excruciatingly slow and expensive experience. Bids had to come in, permits had to be pulled, drawings had to be approved. We had to bring the asbestos-ridden P.O.S. up to code, and we were at the mercy of the county. We did as much work as we could on our own: demo, painting, signage, logo & website, flooring, audio, equipment install, and building as much stuff as we could. We spent 9 hours in Ikea one day. That was fun.
We finally opened Based 10 CrossFit in January 2014. We spent a large chunk of dough on getting a professional photographer and videographer in the place. Definitely worth the money.
We were able to have an apprentice right when we opened (he was one of our friends in the midst of the rubble), and he spent a solid 4 months shadowing us and getting feedback. He’s now teaching classes, and doing really well. He’s a solid asset, and very much the opposite of us (which is a good thing). I sincerely hope we can pay him enough, challenge him, and help him grow so he’ll want to stay with us forever.
I’m not a “hugger”…so, you’ll need to pick your own mushy, gushy stuff and insert it here. But we truly love our people. It makes me wonder if people that “fit” together really do find each other. <- There. That was mushy (and pretty corny).
When we first opened, we taught every class from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. I was exhausted all the time. I never expected that opening a freaking gym would leave me so unmotivated to work out. Now that we’ve hired someone, and I’ve gotten more acclimated, things seem more normal-ish. It’s still hard, and I really relish sleep. I nap as often as possible.
I’m prone to anxiety. I get it when I’m in crowds of people. I had my first (and thankfully only) panic attack right when the book was released (because I was so scared of what people would think). There’s so much frantic waking up and looking at the clock, making sure I don’t oversleep for the 6 a.m. class. My mind doesn’t shut off, but I think that’s normal when you run your own business.
We’ve been told there’s another CrossFit gym opening a stone’s throw away from us. The trainers that took over our positions at Carolina CrossFit have now also left (under dramatic, but different circumstances as what little I know of it), and are are opening their own CrossFit gym. The
rumored confirmed location is on the other side of the street from us, and CrossFit Soda City is the rumored confirmed name. I’ve heard of this happening disturbingly frequently in big cities, but never imagined this would happen in po’ dunk Columbia, South Carolina–where there’s plenty of real estate to go around. I suppose we can use their gym as our 600 meter turnaround for running–since that’s how far they are away from us. Lulzzz. I really don’t understand why they’d want to be so close us.
We’re together just about 24/7. It’s a pretty strange marriage, I guess…I don’t know any different. But I’m proud to say that we still like each other. Love–of course, will always be there, but I think it’s really important that we actually still LIKE each other. I’m not trying to portray an image of perfection, we definitely bicker and snap at each other, and sometimes we do that in front of our members…and that’s super embarrassing. Sorry y’all.
When I’m not feeling supremely lazy, I’ll take 3 hours out of our Sunday and do a big cook. I’ve gotten progressively more lazy as the months have gone by. Breakfast has become a quasi-pick two: yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, potatoes, bacon. Again, depends on how lazy I’m feeling. Lunch is some type of salad, since that’s easy to mass produce. Dinner is what’s tough. I frequent the frozen food section–Trader Joe’s, Artisan Bistro (these are at a lot of normal grocery stores, tasty, and pretty affordable). We eat a lot of popsicles now too. Outshine brand are the best. Just sayin’.
What The Book Has Taught Me
I don’t give an efffffff. I mean I do, but I don’t. Writing the book, and reading the negative reviews, has really helped chisel a stone veneer (I mean, I suffer from bitchy resting face anyway). To the people who say we’re “fraudulently funding” our life with the book sales..L O freaking L. Hardly! I’m flattered. Not as many people want a sane “paleo” book, as much as they want a miracle, woo-woo, black & white, dogmatic paleo book. I won’t say the negative stuff doesn’t bother me, but it doesn’t make me want to run and hide. It’s helped me grow up…a little bit.