by Coach Jay
I’ve had an interesting “career path” if you’d like to call it that.
I always knew I wanted to do something involving movement, training, and using the body.
First I thought it was physiotherapy. Then after working in a bunch of kids or sports camps, I figured it was being a phys ed teacher.
After graduating with Kinesiology and Education degrees I was pretty certain that was where I was headed.
After coming back from a summer away in Maine working at Camp Laurel I realized I hadn’t really thought ahead at all.
Teaching jobs weren’t exactly easy to come by in London at the time and so I fell into a job with the company Cintas.
(I use ‘fell into’ very liberally, as there were five interviews).
I managed to work down a bunch of student debt which was not only nice, but necessary.
But I knew that job wasn’t for me, and I was only going to be there temporarily.
I remember on one of my routes I had to do some service at a gym in St. Thomas.
I remember thinking it would be so cool to work in gym.
There were a few things that acted as catalysts for me leaving that job.
In October of 2009 my Dad got really sick with a rare blood infection. I wont go too far into detail on that, because it’s another story for another time- but it nearly killed him.
It was a time that really forced me to reflect- something I felt I hadn’t done in a while.
It really made the important things stand out, and the non-important things wash into the backdrop.
I felt I was wasting my gifts in this job. For much of my life I’ve been able to lead and inspire people through some form of athletics- and that’s all I wanted to do.
For weeks on end my schedule was Monday-Thursday, 12-14 hr days starting at 5AM. Then on Thursday after work I’d drive from London to Kingston to see my family and visit my Dad in the hospital.
I remember receiving a phone call from my manager Ryan “just making sure I was going to be back on time for Monday” one weekend.
That’s when he lost me.
It wasn’t much longer that I found myself driving through a snowstorm on the way to Kincardine.
We got out so early that the roads hasn’t been closed yet- but they definitely were later in the day.
So here I was- driving a truck that may as well have been a sail boat in that storm. Whiteknuckling my way down country roads just trying to keep the truck between two lines of trees that lined the road into the horizon.
I got back to the office and quit.
I didn’t really have a plan. But I remember I couldn’t do it any longer.
I figured if there was any time to pursue a passion, this was it.
After all my years in track & field and football, not having an athletic outlet was pretty damn depressing. It’s hard to describe, but I didn’t quite feel whole.
In the spring of 2009 I found CrossFit.
In October 2009 my Dad got sick and one of the things that changed in my life was I pursued my passions and gifts. I trained with a lot more fire and it showed.
Then in January 2010 I quit the job with Cintas and started as a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in London.
I still remember my first paycheck as a trainer- Fifty-three dollars. I wish I had it framed.
I still had probably close $40k in student debt.
I did that for 8 months before moving here.
Then I become a teacher and coached a heck of a lot of fitness on the side.
In 2012 we opened the gym and teaching and coaching ran parallel for a number of years- sort of with one foot in each pool, if you will.
I haven’t taught high school in over two years, but I did make the move to mentoring other gym owners to help grow their business and influence.
I guess I’ve followed a bit of a pattern.
Get into fitness –> Help others with their fitness
Start learning more about business –> Help others with their businesses.
I like to do things that give me purpose.
Once you’ve gotten a taste of that, anything but that purpose just isn’t enough.
Helping people improve their lives through fitness is the best way I’ve found how to do that.
It’s a winding path and I’m not quite sure how I got here some days- but I’m not compaining.
If you’re a current client, or been one- it’s a honour. I don’t have to tell you that we love this stuff.
If you’re looking to improve your life through fitness we should talk.
Book your free No-Sweat Intro session and let’s have a conversation about what you want and see if we’re a good fit.