No…. I’m not pregnant. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to get pregnant immediately after getting married 🙂
The past year had far exceeded our hopes and expectations. It wasn’t to long ago we ran 5 classes a day with 2-3 people in each class (some of you may remember this). We knew that the day would come when it would be time to bring someone else into the fold. People often ask us if our goal is to have a full staff so that we don’t have to teach… this is missing the point of why we opened the gym in the first place, we love teaching. The other part of the picture is that the Massage Therapy half of the business is also very busy which limits how many classes I can teach. Our list of criteria for a trainer is not small, and we’ve considered people near and far. We realize that we run things a little differently and like to see things taught in a particular way. Quality (as it always has) remains the number one goal in our gym. Because of this we have decided that we will have a better more consistent product for our athletes by building a coach from the ground up.
I spent a considerable amount of time speaking with owners of various types of health and fitness businesses when I was at the Lululemon Ambassadors Summit in mid August. Almost 90% of the Ambassadors were business owners in our industry. I cannot place a value on what I learned through conversations that weekend (In fact that whole weekend was one of the most powerful and inspirational events I have ever attended). What I heard over and over was that the fundamental qualities that make amazing staff are organic. The hard skills can be taught, but the passion and attitude must already there. Almost everyone said that their most valuable and committed staff were their athletes first. The lightbulb went on.
I came home and Jesse and I spent a lot of time talking about the concept of apprenticing someone from the gym. We suddenly felt quite dumb for not realizing that Mike had been flying under our radar this whole time. We have been absolutely impressed with everything about Mike from day 1 (actually 2 weeks before day 1 when he came by just to say how excited he was that we were opening). He was actually the first “athlete profile” that I ever did on the blog! Mike, first and foremost has an amazing attitude. He is pretty much happy all the time. He LOVES to work hard and inspires those around him to work hard. He has a solid background in understanding the body and he moves really really well (350# squat at 160#). He is helpful to those around him and respectful to us and his training partners. And most importantly he is keen to learn as much as he can about movement. When we sat him down to talk about potentially apprenticing him, he couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. He didn’t even have to think about it.
Over the long weekend, he travelled down to Washington State to do his Level 1. The plan from here is to have him begin shadowing classes next week. The next step will be to assistant teach with a progressing level of involvement. Eventually, he will lead some classes with us assisting, and finally he will teach some classes alone. He will also be attending additional certifications as they become available throughout this process.
Our community is VERY important to us and we strongly feel that Mike embodies our strongest qualities and will be an amazing asset to our training program.
We have given you this much detail about the process because we want you to know that we take this very seriously. We love our community at the gym and are stoked for this next step in our growth.
Heather & Jesse