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Why I Train

The gym business ain’t what it used to be. At least not from my perspective. Granted, I made some changes in 2020 and 2021 that, while they seemed sound under the circumstances, haven’t proven so much so in our return to normal. In the midst of the pandemic moving my gym home seemed like a good idea and in many ways it’s proven to be. I love working from home. I love being closer to my wife. I love being able to transition seamlessly from professional work mode to personal mode and back again as the course of my day dictates. When I had to drive in to town for work I’d be “on” in some capacity for 60 or more hours a week. Moving home feels like semi retirement, or at least the closest I imagine I’ll ever get. What’s not so great is how hard it is to attract new clients.

Marketing a home gym has proven to be a real challenge. I’ve gone from being a full-time gym owner to part-time, once again covering the bases of programming, teaching, marketing, cleaning, and all the various little chores that go with running a gym myself. I addition I’m also hustling during my down times picking up handyman jobs or any other small gigs I can get to fill in the gaps.

I just came back from one of those small gigs. I spent a week doing an installation for Catori Furnishings. Catori Furnishings is the fulfillment arm of Catori Design House, who does design work for large real estate development companies. This past week I headed up a crew delivering and installing furniture and art for a large development in McDonough, Georgia which is just south of Atlanta.

On Friday, after a rather full day wrapping up all the loose ends and driving back to Birmingham, knowing that I would get home just to turn around and drive Samantha and I to Athens, Georgia to spend the weekend with our granddaughter I began thinking of this post. I had just spent the week out of town, managing and working alongside four 20 and 21 year old collegiate baseball players. Not only was I able to hang with these guys, I’ll dare say I set the pace. I didn’t workout once that week. The work itself was sufficient for that, averaging almost 16,000 steps a day. Despite having to eat out and cater to the appetites of four twenty something Eddie Haskells I ate well. I kept up with my supplements and, although sleeping in a hotel bed is not my ideal, I averaged over 8 hours of sleep each night. That’s actually an improvement over my home sleeping schedule which looks more like 6 and a half to 7 hours with a nap later in the afternoon.

This is why I train.

In all honesty, I originally got into training because I grew up a fat kid. In my day, fat shaming was much more of a socially sanctioned spectator sport than it is today. Childhood trauma has a way of being a very strong motivator in later years. But after years of training, dieting, and doing my utmost to build my mind’s ideal physique I realized how I look is just how I look. While my childhood pain was a motivator, it wasn’t nearly motivating enough to inspire the level of discipline and discomfort I would require to achieve that ideal physique. After years of effort in various disciplines, I also realized that while my body did change I didn’t notice it. My image of self has remained fairly consistent over the years and it’s only in retrospect, through photographs, that I can see the differences. Some of them were even rather dramatic.

What remained consistent, however, was an increased capacity to do. As I got stronger, gained more endurance, or improved my mobility what emerged was someone who was more capable. I like to say that my father’s side of the family were Scottish dirt farmers who finally made good. That Protestant work ethic runs strong in my family. Having the wherewithal to put in the hours, to be of service, and still have energy left over to attend to my family and the relationships that are important to me is a huge win. It’s a far greater justification for the hours I put in under the bar or on the mat than six pack abs could ever be.

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...and attend you do my friend! You have a work/family ethic to look up to! You've got a pretty kickin bod too!


Thanks Dave!

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