City Gym Turns Five!

Hailee Bland-Walsh, Owner

Anniversaries make me feel reflective and this one is no different. In exactly eleven days, City Gym turns five years old. About this time five years ago, I was having a nervous breakdown. Like an actual, good old fashioned, lay-down-in-my-kitchen-floor-and cry, meltdown. 

I was exhausted from managing the final stages of a major construction remodel, building the back end of our membership software from scratch, hiring staff, and, creating marketing materials. But mostly, I was worried. I worried I would sit in that newly remodeled space, alone. I was worried that with five other gyms in a five mile radius, no one would become a member. I worried that staff might not show up. I worried that people might not understand or buy in to my belief that a gym should be more than a place to workout. I was worried I had risked it all and that I might fail. 

The week before our official open, we had a limited, pre-sale event. The plan was well thought out, but didn't account for a construction timeline that didn't go exactly to schedule. So, the days that week would go like this, the construction punch list items would be worked on all day and then at 3PM I would clean as fast as I could for an hour, set up at the front desk, and work from 4PM-6PMgiving tours and selling memberships. It was just myself and my amazing office manager, Richelle. The good news was that she is way smarter than me and I hustled my butt off and somehow in first few weeks, we just made it work. I remember feeling so proud of those 50 pre-sale memberships we sold. 

It was during that time, that I met a woman named Katie Roder. She lived in the neighborhood and would become one of City Gym's first members. Right away she became a regular in my City Fit and then cycling class. I remember being really impressed by her work ethic. Katie came to class, day in and day out, ready to get to work. 

As City Gym grew, I started taking on more managerial tasks and started training people to take my front line roles. I taught less classes, but still made it a point to check in with the regulars. Katie became a go-to member. Someone I asked for feedback or advice about a class format, a new instructor, or program. 

When Laura was first hired as the Group Exercise Manager, a few weeks before our third anniversary, I remember taking her to coffee and telling her about a handful of members she should get to know. Katie was on that list. 

A few months ago, I made a decision to do a strategic restructure at the managerial level, replacing myself with a general manager. The intent was to bring someone on who had the expertise to lead our amazing team and an absolute passion for the culture and product at City Gym, so that I could focus on our growth. 

Insert Katie Roder. I asked Katie if she had ever considered working for City Gym. She said she hadn't, but that she would mull it over. A few days later, she officially threw her name in the hat amongst an incredibly competitive pool of extremely qualified candidates. Fast forward a few months and Katie earned the gig. 

When I think about the best decisions I've ever made at City Gym, they all involve hiring amazing people. The list is too long to name all the incredible people who work at City Gym, but suffice to say, we have a PHENOMENAL staff. 

The staff at City Gym embody our core values; community, exceptional service, and inspiration. They are truly passionate about the fitness industry and strive, every day, to transform people's lives with their unmatched expertise and their deep care for people. We are a group of fitness professionals who believe we can actually make the world better by helping people live their best lives. 

To commemorate how far we have come, from kitchen breakdowns and flying by the seat of our pants to facility expansions, local awards, and national commercials, we've decided to have a party. 

On Saturday, August 20th from 12-4PM, we invite you to come hang in our parking lot and enjoy food trucks, drinks, music, and yard games to celebrate all the good the last five years has brought. And also to set our intentions for continued growth and success for many more anniversaries that have fives in the them--15, 25, 50. 

The event is free and open to the community. Bring your friends, your parents, your in-laws, your neighbors, literally anyone who you want to have a great time with. Visit our Facebook invitation to RSVP and share it on your social channels. The more, the merrier. 

If I don't get the chance at the event to hug you and say thanks, let me tell you now, thank you. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. This is only the beginning. We will need your continued support as we grow, but you have my promise, we won't ever get away from the things that made you love us in the first place. 

See you on August 20th!