Today marks the 5th anniversary of our “Grand Opening” ribbon cutting at Anytime Fitness Fredericksburg. It’s hard to believe how blessed we have been over the last five years. Owning a gym was always a dream of Rick’s; quite honestly it has never been a dream of mine. However, over the past five years I have grown an appreciation for all that it entails and watching Rick grow as a person, businessman, and more. Seeing the difference we make in people’s lives every single day by providing them a place to become healthy and fit is and will always be a dream of mine. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to provide such a place and service for the community of Fredericksburg and surrounding areas. Though, as anyone knows – owning and operating a business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and money flowing from the heavens.
As I reflect back on the past five years I wanted to share with you 5 things I have learned to be true from a young owner’s perspective.
1. #TheStruggle is Completely Worth It
For the entire first year of our marriage we lived and breathed gym-talk. When we came home from work we talked about the gym, before we went to bed we talked about the gym, and when we woke up we talked about the gym. Waking up at 4am to make it to Fredericksburg by 530am for nearly two years, to coach bootcamp class 3 times a week, driving home after 6pm, stressing over finances, bills, “disgruntled members” and everything in between – Rick and I weathered the storms together.
I tell people all the time, if we went bankrupt and were forced to close the gym tomorrow I wouldn’t have any regrets. The experiences, the friendships, the people we’ve met along the way, the countless life and health changing stories we’ve heard from members of our gym make the daily “struggles” completely worth it. Fortunately we’ve had a tremendous amount of support from family and friends; which brings me to my next lesson.
2. Family Support is Everything
The past five years would not have been possible without the support of our family. For the first four years we offered towels and every morning, noon, and night my dad would take the dirty towels, wash, dry, and fold them and bring them back to the gym. When he was out of town and couldn’t do that my mom would take over. Before we had a cleaning company my mom would volunteer her day/weekend off to help us clean the gym, showers, floors, machines, everything. Clogged and broken toilets after hours? Either my stepdad or dad would drive to the gym to fix it. When the security alarm goes off in the wee hours of the night (obviously Rick and I couldn’t turn it off from Austin) my mom, dad, or stepdad drive to the gym to meet the cops and turn it off. I am incredibly grateful for the continual love and support my parents have for us and the success of our gym.
3. No Matter How Hard You Try, You Can Never Please Everyone
Some people are going to love you and your facility and some people will find anything to complain about. You take feedback from one person, implement a change for the better, and without fail someone will dislike it. Temperature, music, towels, televisions, equipment – you do your best to accommodate the needs of the majority and a small minority will find a problem with all of them. What I’ve learned is you do what you can, smile, and move on. If I had it my way, I’d also say, “If you don’t like it; there’s the door,” but this is why I do not work on the office selling memberships. 🙂
4. Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
It is as the saying goes, “teamwork really does make the dream work”. I don’t like to use the term employee, I’d rather refer to them as part of our team. Our manager (and the one before her) does an outstanding job at operating and maintaing the gym; handling all of which that entails – which let me tell you is A LOT! Without Amber, our gym wouldn’t be half the place it is today. She also has a great crew helping her in the office occasionally (pictured below) and for them we are equally grateful. Our trainers (past and current ones) have done a phenomenal job at keeping the members engaged and sharing their specialities with them. Again, they have really helped rise our gym to the next level. And not to be forgotten, our members definitely help “make the dream work.” If they see something out of line, they let us know. Continual feedback helps the gym run as smoothly as possible. Our members are the “eyes and ears” of our facility when we aren’t there. From the bottom of my heart I am so grateful for the support our members have shown us from the very beginning.
5. “Do The Right Thing and Let The Chips Fall Where They May”
As our pastor, Mac Richard, says “Do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may” is something Rick and I try to remember when making any and all decisions for the gym. In the past five years, it has rained, it has poured, and every thing in between. Deals have fallen through, members have come and gone, incidents have occurred and throughout it all we continue to do our best, make the right (honest) decisions and pray for God’s will. We pray for the gym in the morning, before we eat dinner, and before we go to bed. As I said, we are incredibly blessed and grateful to have this opportunity and support from our family, friends, members, and the community. Thank you to everyone who has believed in us, supported us, and will continue to do so along the way. We love you!
“Greater things have yet to come; greater things are still to be done in this city” – Chris Tomlin.
[And for those of you who are wondering; we are having our 5 year anniversary party in September to celebrate 5 years and the remodeling of the gym.]