A somewhat lifelong type of dream came true for me this month. We opened a gym called Kansas City Barbell at 1714 Holmes Street in the East Crossroads section of KC.
How did this happen and why did this happen?
To avoid boring you with all sort of small details, I will keep this as general as possible and do this in a list format.
- While working at City Gym I receive disproportionate number of client requests for those that want dedicated strength training
- Realizing that City Gym isn’t equipped for that type of speciality work, I have a decision to make
- Straw broke the camel’s back when a woman named Deb comes to see me and wants to do Olympic Lifting again, I can’t at City Gym.. wheels turn
- My good friend and occasional online client, Sean Dunstion, sells his share of his CrossFit gym in Virginia
- I make a sly joke saying “you should come out to KC and open one with me”
- Yes, srs
- Ok, come to KC and let’s see if you like it
- Sean visits
- We eat BBQ
- We drink whiskey
- $$$ Profit $$$
- Have a realtor look for places for me
- Original realtor wasn’t showing me enough to satisfy my sense of urgency, call for backup
- Go down the list of Google Reviews and the first one to answer the phone NOT using an automated voice mail gets my business
- John Hoefer of Newmark Grubb Zimmer
- First place we see is the building I am in now
- But wait there’s more….
- Meet the owners of it, a 70+ year old vibrant, artistic, and intelligent couple
- He flat out says, “artists get a tax break in the Crossroads so why should I choose you?”
- “I will bring more money to this area over another art gallery plus this gym will be a part of the community in more ways than a workout facility”
- The wait begins to see if I am chosen
- More wait…
- Kill me now….
- On the way to Hot Springs, Arkansas with my wife for a weekend getaway, John calls…
- Heart races
- He says, “you got the space!”
- I said thank you because I can’t talk anymore…. I hung up and cried, I screamed… this is it. This is a dream come true
- We are on the fast track to open KC’s first downtown barbell club
- We get lease, we sign lease, we move equipment in, we pimp ourselves out, we network, we grow, we will thrive
- Picture above is what the product is as of 120 seconds ago as I sit at my desk writing this
- I own a gym, I never ever thought this would ever happen.
Sean Dunston uprooted his life for this venture because he trusts this vision and what we want to do.
My wife, Sarah, is on the ownership group because she supports in my dreams fully.
I added more to my plate because I don’t want to be just the guy who works IN a gym and trains people online… I want to be a destination spot. I want my online clients to say, “my coach OWNS Kansas City Barbell”. I want them to one day have the option to travel to KC to work with me directly. I want to open up strength training and barbell work to the awesome people that live and work in a city that I fucking love, downtown KC.
I have intentionally done the one thing I feared most in life… a fear that I never once expressed publicly or even to many people. I have created roots in an area and I have created permanence.
Why did I do it when I could have made a great life with just online training? Well there are a few reasons.
- I can’t ever be that guy to work on a computer all day
- I really love to coach and I am really good at it
- I fell in love with KC and the people who live here. I miss NYC less and less with each day, until it becomes a romanticized memory fading away as I embrace my home base
- In order for me to be the best coach I can be…. I need to be free and fly with my own wings and create my own flight path
Thank you to Sean and my amazing wife for supporting a man with a dream and going all-in with this venture.
Let’s make Kansas City stronger and fitter.
It is time to shine.
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