SHARE. In general, I don’t have a problem sharing my feelings. OBVIOUSLY. Sometimes I publish a blog post, and end up surprising myself when I go back to read it. The raw emotion of my words brings the feelings back to the surface, and it’s like living through the hurt all over again. After my husband and I sold our gym, I wasn’t sure I was ready to pour my thoughts onto the blog. I was afraid of what I might read.
SELL. Like how I snuck that little tidbit in there? Yep, back in October we sold CrossFit Fire. After nearly 8 years of being gym owners, we had to move on. It was time. It wasn’t that we didn’t love CrossFit anymore, it’s just that our lives kind of outgrew it. We realized that CrossFit Fire couldn’t be what we wanted it to be without both of us being involved….and with 4 kids to raise that just wasn’t possible. Without Bill, we’d be missing our mastermind. Without me, the gym was missing its soul.
JERKS. When we announced the sale of the gym we had a lot of people reach out to us. People were shocked to hear that we had sold the gym. And truthfully, some people were happy. But they’re mostly jerks. Only jerks would be glad that 2 great coaches had stepped away from the sport. I believe with my whole heart that CrossFit was a tiny bit better because of myself and my husband. We didn’t fall into the net of “all the bad coaches” that CrossFit gets a bad name for.
JOB. Bill ended up getting a job offer, so we had to act fast. It was either sell the gym at a rock-bottom price, or sell off the equipment piece by piece. To me, the worst possible fate of the gym would be to scatter it to the 4 corners of the Earth, and to have a storage unit full of equipment to sell. I’d be selling it off 4 dumbbells at a time on Craigslist FOREVER. To have found a buyer who was already part of the community, who wanted to keep it as much intact as possible, was a relief.
BROKE. At least that’s what I told myself. I told myself that we HAD to sell the gym. I told myself that it was time to move on. I told myself over and over and over again that keeping the gym “just because I loved it” was a bad decision. I mean, for the last 3 years my family has been buying our groceries with food stamps. FOOD. STAMPS. Do you realize how LITTLE your income has to be to qualify for that level of government aid? But yes, tell me again how I’m doing this “just for the money”. We tried everything we could to make the business work financially for our family, but we just couldn’t.
IDENTITY. So….we HAD to sell the gym. We sold it for less than what we invested in the buildout and new equipment in the last 12 months alone. Pretty much, we gave it away. But in the end, it’s not even the money that matters. What matters is feeling like I lost a huge part of my identity. I was a Mom, a wife, and a gym owner. I was a “CrossFitter”. I was an old dinosaur in the world of CrossFit, because I got in on the ground level. I owned my CrossFit gym before Facebook went mainstream. I competed in the CrossFit Games before you even had to qualify. People came to me every single day needing my help, advice, a high-five or a hug. I was their coach, and they were my people.
CONNECT. And along with a big part of my identity went my connection to 150 amazing people. What I failed to realize is that I needed my people more than they needed me. They were the food for my soul. They were what got me out of bed, and into my Lulus in the morning. Almost 4 months after stepping away from the gym, I am still in mourning.
SAD. Could I still work out at the gym? Absolutely. I hear I’m welcome there any time. And when we were selling the gym, I told myself that I’d start working out with the group classes, and stay part of the community. But when it came down to it….it was too hard. It was like signing over your parental rights, and having to sit through a Mother’s Day brunch with the new parents.
STALKER. I slow down every time I drive past the gym. I look to see whose cars are out front, and I imagine all the fun stuff going on inside. I can hear the crashing of the weights, the beeping of the timer, and the laugher of my CrossFit Fire Family inside. I can picture the chalky handprints on the floor, the sway of the rig during wall ball shots, and the tangle of jump ropes hanging on the wall. I smile thinking back to all the amazing people I met there, and all the great times we had. I have a handful of really great emails people have sent me over the years, and I occasionally go back through them, just to be reminded of the fulfillment that came with every life I touched.
WHOLE. And just like everything else, this wound will heal over time. LIFE….is an amazing distraction when you are feeling like you lost something truly great. The next challenge for me will be to find something else to fill the void in my identity, so I can once again feel whole.