A year out of the Navy, I was miserable with my new, low-stress job. Tears furtively rolled down my cheeks, as I stared blankly at meaningless excel spreadsheets.
I left the Navy as soon as I legally could, not wanting to waste another second in a career path that wasn’t for me. I had visions of grandeur, wanting so badly to be an entrepreneur, alongside all the other life design enthusiasts. #4hourworkweek
But here I was, still making more money than I knew what to do with, bored out of my mind, and unhappy.
It has been a journey.
When Lee and I first started dating in early 2016, we had an idea for a business that revolved around the demographic we felt was overlooked in the CrossFit community: the average Joes. In a field where the “biggest losers” and the “fittest wo/men in the world” are highly publicized, there’s a great swath of fairly average people who purge themselves of blood, sweat, and tears at the gym every day. For all their hard work, they don’t get nearly the same level of recognition.
This was where the name “Almost Elite” originally came from: for the people who weren’t quite elite. We wanted to start a fitness blog catering to that demographic, but the blog had no real niche. From “sports psychology” to “proper technique,” we wanted to talk about everything on our blog.
Eventually, we lost the wind in our sails. It was difficult for us to understand what we were doing and who we were doing it for. We simply didn’t know what our niche or demographic was.
Since then, we kept the name alive by naming our annual competitions at our gym “Almost Elite,” but we didn’t do anything else with it.
In April 2018, Lee and I talked about the idea of starting a blog (again). The idea for our niche evolved a handful of times, and then we finally figured it out.
We wanted to help other gym owners achieve the life that we had also created for ourselves:
A life of freedom both in and out of the gym.
We had been through so much in the last two years, we hardly recognized ourselves, let alone each other.
In 2016, I’d come home every day wallowing in the depths of my misery, and Lee would listen to me and support me as best as he could.
Today, Lee says I’m the optimistic one.
In 2016, an epic night for Lee consisted of a 6-pack of Art Car IPA, back-to-back episodes of American Pickers, and Dwight (our cat) hanging out on the recliner with him.
Today, Lee is getting ready for a trip we’re making to Hong Kong, and he’s counting down the days until he leaves his full-time job. He has transformed from a timid, unhappy, and anxiety-prone person into a goofy extrovert who says “YES” to mountain climbing trips before I even have a chance to weigh in (and also say “yes,” of course).
Running the gym together has been a large part of our complete transformation.
We dealt with so much crap, though.
Being new owners in a very established culture and community.
Barely making enough money to cover rent.
Having to let go of a coach months after we took over.
Shelling out money on a business coach because we had no idea what we were doing.
Two months after we all agreed to purchase the gym, the third owner decided he couldn’t hack it and he left…
… Did I mention the third owner was the only reason Lee and I agreed to buy the gym to begin with?
I’d find myself asking so many times.
“Why in the world are we doing this?”
I will tell you why.
Because no other job brings me to good tears as often as this one does.
Because Lee and I are better human beings and better to each other because of this experience.
Because we have a fullness in our lives we have never had before.
It’s for these reasons that we are here today, running CrossFit Lobo and baring our souls on Almost Elite.
I don’t know you, and I don’t know what you want from being a gym owner. I imagine you want to enjoy your job, and I also suspect you want to have a life outside the gym you love as well.
On Almost Elite, I share our trials, errors, and lessons. Whether you find inspiration or simply a sense of relief from reading our posts, I hope we can encourage you to create the life you used to dream about, long before you decided to turn your passion into a living.
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