A Winding Path To Here

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.