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The Difference Starts With Our Core (Values)
Believe it or not, I've been in the gym biz for 13 amazing years. And in that time, I have worked in all sorts of gym environments. I've been employed in the swanky, see-and-be-seen joints, the stereotypical meathead locations, the too-cool-for-school places and the local community centers.
I've worked for non-profit and for-profit companies. I've been exposed to organizations that have done things exceptionally well and who treated staff and members as priorities and those who haven't. I've worked for companies that understood the important impact they could make in the lives of those who come to them for help and those who preyed on people's fear and insecurity.
It's fair to say that I have seen the best and the worst in the industry. It is from all that experience that City Gym was born.
As this crazy idea to open a gym first began to develop in me, I sat down with my yellow legal pad to brainstorm. I began writing down all of the amazing things I wanted to keep from my years of experience and all the ways I felt like I could do things better.
I was clear from the very beginning that City Gym would be more than a place to workout, it would be a place to belong. That we would serve the whole person by helping them to be fit, be well and belong.
One of the things that made the notepad was the idea of community. This word means a lot of things to a lot of people. To us, community means who we are both in and outside of our physical location. It means how we serve our members and how we treat each other. Community means treating everyone the same and we mean everyone. From soccer celebs to soccer moms, each member and guest is treated with respect, care, and kindness. And this extends to our staff. We treat members and guests with respect and we expect them to treat members and staff with the same respect. We are in community with one another after all.
City Gym's core values are inspiration, exceptional service, and community. These values infuse everything we do, every program we run, every person we hire. To work to embody these values, not just market them. It can be trendy to have a mission statement and/or core values, but they can quickly just become words, if not acted upon.
I still have those original notes on the yellow legal paper and sometimes for nostalgia sake, I pull them out. Sometimes I am stunned that this idea came from my head and heart and has now taken on a life of its own. An idea that people believed in and rallied around. An idea that offers people a place to be in community with others and be present with themselves. In my opinion, It's nothing short of magic.
But before you start thinking I'm special for doing this, stop. I'm not. I'm not some marketing genius with a special talent. I'm just a committed person with a gut feeling that the fitness industry needed an authentic and genuine place for people to connect with others and most importantly, themselves--deeply. I am just a former athlete who didn't want a desk job and started personal training only to fall in love with the transformations people have when they start caring radically for themselves. Watching people become the best versions of themselves was intoxicating. I became a radical self care junkie with just enough experience to say yes to the idea which would become City Gym. And after I shook hands with this idea, I worked the hell out of it--up early and up late.
And that's my secret. I know I'm not special or different. I know that this idea was a gift and my responsibility is to care for it and nurture it in an effort to change the world. "If you give me more, I will take care of it." And so I show my gratitude for being entrusted with this opportunity, by expanding its territory.
Why I am I telling you this? Because you have something inside of you too--an idea that's been tapping you on the shoulder asking you if you want to dance. I'm here to tell you to say yes and then work the hell out of it. If you do, your blessings will be immeasurable, just like mine are every time I walk through the doors of City Gym.
Be fit. Be well. Belong.