Anyone who has read this blog for an average or longer time knows I speak my mind and am not afraid to admit my shortcomings. As owner of this business I am in a position of making decisions that affect people’s lives. Not exactly brain surgery or CIA clandestine operator shit but is what it is. People listen to me and often time because they have to. Employees do because it’s their job they get a paycheck for, members do because it’s requisite for being part of this community and getting what they want out of their membership.
I closed the gyms today and people weren’t happy. Maybe saying people weren’t understanding is more appropriate. So I decided to make this story time, a chance to remind some of you and introduce others of you to why I closed today and will any time the weather seems possible to turn dangerous. Truth of the matter is really when I make these decisions the focus of my reasoning is the safety of my employees. I don’t really think about my own ever, but rather than try and pass it off as this altruistic, selfless sense of being I have I think it’s more that I just meld myself into my concern for my employees in this case. It’s not that I don’t care about you reading here as members, but I guess a guy can only personally care for so many people at once. Anyways…
Maybe in hind sight closing Woburn totally and last class in Charlestown wasn’t needed. When I started getting inundated with texts and emails asking about changes if any I went about my usual process of checking facts for myself. As usual the reports were ranging, but what seemed common was a solid amount of snow followed immediately by freezing rain, all Boston and north, and all happening quickly starting at 12pm. It was almost enough itself to make the changes since Jack was scheduled for Woburn with a 50 minute drive home and I was the only available sub with an equally long drive myself. Charlestown obviously has more options with multiple coaches living in town, and they stepped up as you can see so Stacey didn’t have a 50 minute drive home in this weather.
However, history makes this decision easy for me nowadays, and here is where story time really starts.
A few years back when Charlestown was Canal Park Lando we were entering a winter following one where it was a shitshow weather wise. I feel like we closed for 2 full weeks due to snow. It was that year we had 4 straight 12″ + storms every week around this time. Human nature has it I felt bad because you all pay for a service we provide that hinges on us being open. So I made it a point that year to be aggressive with keeping the gyms open on questionable days especially since I was still living in Charlestown so could cover at least 1 location easily even in terrible conditions.
Low and behold a day just like today happens. We stay open. Stacey is coaching in Woburn and has classes 5pm, 6pm and 7pm like now that have 4, 3, and 5 members respectively in each one. As I closed up Canal Park and learned of this low attendance I ground my teeth a bit but otherwise let it go figuring those few people appreciated us staying open and even with my classes being equally low we allowed some of our members to get more fit and that’s what it’s all about. Pay no mind to the fact I got in a fender bender on my way to CP. Obviously not my fault because my car at the time was still the Silver Rhino that handled snow like a tank and could crash into and through a building and sustain no damage. A not so snow ready car and drive skidded through the light by the 99 and caused a harrowing collision at about 8 mph. Didn’t think much of it, was just annoyed for the delay and having to roll down my window.
Then Stacey got in a car accident. Her cute white Rav 4 used to be a cute brown Rav 4. It’s now a different car because the brown one was totaled that night as she drove north to south from 6-8″ of snow to 6″ of snow covered in ice. I’m sure some of you have had the situation where a family member or close friend texted or called reporting they were in a car accident that totaled their car. Stacey, love her to death as I may, texted me “my car is totaled” then didn’t respond for 10 minutes, so maybe my recollection of all of this and view on similar situations is skewed. Maaaaayyybe.
The fact of the matter is a very real situation happened where someone close to me with many relationship connections with me was put into a situation that could have cost her her life that I could have affected. I’m not getting all into fate or destiny or trying to garner sympathy for having the weight of such life changing decisions on my shoulders so you can all save it. I know that Stacey could have not had to drive in if I closed earlier that day and been killed by a massive ice sickle falling from her roof while getting the mail. But, fact is she coached because she is a loyal coach, to me and to you all, and was driving home late at night, dark, on roads that were barely treated after 6″ of snow and hours of frozen rain. If I closed the gyms she isn’t in that spot.
So, I swore that day that never again would I put people who worked for me in that position again. It’s like being a parent I guess and having to make a decision based on what you trust the most, that being your own life experience. Sure plenty of people drove that same night without a problem, but those people don’t work for me. Bottom line is because I wanted to make an effort to stay open during questionable weather myself and another coach got into car accidents. People die in car accidents. I don’t want to die. I don’t want Stacey to die.
I know this is all a very overblown detailing of my reasoning here, but I will keep doing similar blogs as long as when I decide to close the gyms for weather I get texts and emails questioning my decision making on this specifically. Anyone who has reached out for any reason for suggestions or feedback I’m sure will say I always listen and always make efforts to at least understand. This matter, however, I will not. I will not listen, nor understand, because we are talking about people’s lives. While you all have close ties to Stacey and other coaches, I guarantee you none are closer than mine with her or them.
So next time I ask of you this. Next time you want to share your displeasure with my decision to close the gym due to weather, please take the few minutes to go through the following process. Do it hopefully with the understanding that I absolutely know and accept my role and the responsibilities that come with being the owner of this business. Please at least give me the benefit of doubt that in 5+ years owning these gyms I’ve learned a thing or two about all of this. That I know full well that I can’t make everyone happy and should graciously accept your feedback no matter the tone because it always comes from a desire to help.
With all of that understood I ask you then before you write the email, send the text, post on social media, please remember this blog. Take a moment and replace me with you in the story from a few years back. Replace me with you and Stacey with someone you cannot part with in your life. Then take a moment to think through your handling of the situation. Now last thing is before you are done, change the story and have the Stacey replacement die a horrific death as anyone would in a car accident. Think about how you would move forward in life without that irreplaceable loved one who died as result of a decision you made.
Then by all means write that email. But then expect more blogs like this, and you better take the time to read them. Thanks for listening.
WOD : 3 Rounds, each round 3:30 with 1:00 rest
3 Wall Climbs
20 KB Swing (overhead) 53/35
20 Walking Lunges
20 MB Situps
20 KB Goblet Squat
20 Russian Twists
AMRAP Double Unders with remaining time each round.
Lift : Snatch
– Evolving EMOM of Squat snatch into ending with Balances
Snatch DL…E30S For 10 sets, 2 snatch DL @ 120% max snatch
then Behind Neck Push Press, sets of 3, determine sets based on time
Conditioning: 4 Rounds, each round 2:00
10 Wall Ball
10 Lunges (each leg) holding MB overhead
10 Burpee Broad Jump
20 Jumping Pull-Ups
The Program : OFF