There are specific values that have shaped me into the person I am, and have guided my life thus far. I first and foremost value family. I am huge on family. I was taught from a very young age from my parents, especially my father that family comes first. Now it doesn’t have to be direct, blood family, but the people in my life that I have a strong bond with and trust more than anything, are also my family. For example, my fit family is a huge part of my family and of my life now. I strive to build fa familial, community feeling with our gym and members. I don’t want people to just come to check in and check out. We come to work out, but also to build a bond and really good friendships with our coaches and among themselves.
Being healthy is also important to me. Being healthy is more than just fitness though. Along with physical health, must come with being healthy mentally. Last year, I placed my mental health at a higher importance and I began to meditate and journal. A lot of people were surprised and constantly asked, “Really, you do that?” My response is always, “Of course!”. I have a lot going on in my mind, so I need to take at least 15 minutes a day for myself. I see the value in that 15 minutes because everyday I am “on”, especially, when I am coaching. I have to have high energy, be motivating, and be attentive all at the same time for multiple people.
These values are a constant in my work with 4th Quarter Fit. I am not just a fitness coach but a life coach as well. I will always be there for my members, my family and willing to listen and be there for them as people. I want to help people in a larger aspect. Fitness is a small piece. I think for me, I have been in the industry in which being shredded is the main focus, but I must have balance and I want my Fit family to have balance. We must have family time. We must have time to ourselves. We have to have a type of balance where physical and mental/emotional being are both whole. I 100% reinforce that and encourage it with my Fit family.
My experience playing basketball in high school and being coached by my coach, Coach Jones, taught me a lot about importance of a team atmosphere. From that, I knew I would be some type of athletic or fitness coach. My very first internship I had was at a place that had a very good, tight knit community. The fitness facility was in Santa Monica; unfortunately it’s shut down now. The main focus was to train football athletes and to get them ready for NFL combine. My training philosophy and approach was inspired by the fundamentals I learned from there; at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping it simple.
The road to opening my own gym and fitness community was not easy though. During my senior year in college, I was in a dark place, and thinking of giving up on my goals and aspirations of being a coach. My cousin, Christian, recognized that I was losing my way and he reached out to me to come to New York to refocus and get my drive back. He flew me out to New York and for 1-2 weeks sat down with me and really helped me think through what I want to do, and ultimately what I’m meant to do. He as a gym owner, saw that I was more than capable of owning and running my own gym. At first, I did not see it and definitely had some push-back. Once we started talking, I realized that I definitely wanted to establish a strong, fitness community, and having my own gym was the right thing to do. From there, he helped me brainstorm what my next steps would be and my baby, 4th Quarter Fit. Hands down, he gave me a second chance in life.
I came back to Long Beach, and put my energy into finishing school first before really pursuing my own gym venture. That summer I was working at Trader Joe’s. My manager came up to me and asked me to train him. I started training him at the park 2 times a week. But when Fall started to approach, it became colder and colder each day. So we found a spot at brand Lift Fit and I started to train clients there, including my manager at the time. I started with a bootcamp that quickly became known as my Fab 5. As time went on, more and more people came to join us and we rapidly outgrew the small space we were renting out and sharing with other trainers and clients. Due to the congestion, I knew we needed to get our own spot. It took us a full year, little more than a year to find a place. There is so much red tape with trying to secure your own place. For example, legally, gyms cannot be in certain areas in Long Beach, some management companies didn’t want us to rent out their space, and the city has facilities that would only provide parking issues to my members. Literally, it was an obstacle after obstacle and I started to feel like we were never going to find the right place for us. Luckily though, after a year and a few months, my sister’s fitness/dance studio became available when she had to move to St. Louis for work with her engineering company. Since she knew I was looking, she asked if I wanted to take over the place. She set up the meeting with the management company and we successfully took over the space. Now, money was another obstacle. I was not financially well. I put all my savings and then some into launching 4th Quarter Fit at the new fitness facility. I also, at same time asked my now wife, to marry me. So I was really broke. But I knew my dream couldn’t be stopped.
I know I wanted to be in the industry but honestly, 4th Quarter Fit is something I never thought it would be…to have our own space, be my own boss, and to have our own coaches that I have on my payroll. Throughout my life, I have learned to always deal with adversity, whether small or big. I compare adversity to a boxing match. Your opponent is adversity, the adversity is challenges that keep punching you in the face. You keep trying to bob and weave to escape the adversity. Now, it’s going to catch you and keep catching you until you learn how to bob, weave, block and on top of that, punch back, find your rhythm and make it stick.
So many obstacles and challenges that will go on, every day, month and year, but I need to be ready for it, but also open to it. I have to continue to be able to control myself and emotions. I am a huge believer in that. I l look at the situation, what’s going on, what’s the challenge, and then determine what I can do to fix it. I want to be open to challenges and have the confidence to deal with that. In the past, I struggled with confidence. With everything I do, I want to be good at it, not just okay; especially when there are other people being affected. This maybe came from more of a place of fear. For instance, when I think about my time as a basketball player. If I messed up, I knew I would be letting my team down, and therefore added pressure onto myself. Which translates to my role as a coach. As a coach and leader for my gym, is I don’t want to let my members, my family down.
When it comes to my gym, I go back and forth with talk about opening up another location or a bigger location for more opportunities. I love having it at 151 members, and for now, am happy with what we have. I would love to get to point where I have more balance in my life. I can’t work on my business if I am always working in my business. I am at the gym a lot, and am looking to cut down my coaching time and give more leadership to our other coaches. I live coaching, but I am starting to understand that if it is going to continue to grow, that I have to spend time on the entrepreneurial side. Also, I want to have a family. I want to spend time with my current and future family, while also building something profitable.
When comes to me, I just want to be a good husband and father. I need to be more patient. Its getting better, but feel like I can be more to be a better husband and father. I can be a better communicator. That’s with my family, friends, and members.This is important to me because I can’t go whole my life operating in the same way. I must continue to learn, grow, and mature.
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