At the time, I was nowhere near the fitness industry; a recent college graduate, PGA Apprentice Golf Professional at a local country club, and aspiring to a long career in the golf industry, I spent my days teaching golf, running the Pro Shop, member events and golf operations. It was at the golf course that I first learned the value of helping people. Working with their golf swings, teaching them the basics, showing them strategy for golf, tweaking their putting setup, all to help them play a game better which brought them joy. I worked with kids ages 4 all the way up to 80 year old seniors, so I got great practice in teaching, motivating, supporting and coaching people of all ages. Seeing them hit a golf ball better brought me joy. My workouts at the time involved some isolated weight machines, cardio on treadmills and ellipticals, and a few dumbbell exercises if I was feeling adventurous. Sound familiar? The old school, globo-gym routine! I was mostly alone for workouts, motivation peaked and pitted, as did my fitness. 2014 would change that, as I found functional fitness. In March 2015, I got the opportunity to coach classes at the Gold’s Gym on Mondays (my one day off from the golf course) and jumped on it. I spent that morning coaching classes, helping people work on, not their golf games this day, but their HEALTH. It was a rush. In June, I was presented with a position to coach more classes, train more clients 1-on-1 and work full-time at that Gold’s Gym. I took a leap, a risk, an adventurous move and a big pay cut, and left the golf business. It was time to TRULY help people live better lives. Fast-forward to the following year, April 2016, and the opportunity arose to open my own gym along with a business partner. In about a 45-day total period (still amazes me) we made a business plan, secured our funds, incorporated and formed an LLC, found a building and signed a lease, ordered equipment and moved in. On May 2, 2016 we launched CrossFit Unify Roanoke. The dream had come to life. We spent the next 8 months building our gym; we had a strong culture that came with us from Gold’s Gym. I was coaching 17-20 classes a week for the first few months and it was tough, but we loved it. Freedom of being able to do what we want, have our own space with our own people and get really, really fit. And then something unexpected happened near the beginning of 2017… Jay and Amanda, the founders of Brickhouse, approached us and asked if we were interested in buying the gym and taking it over. They were ready to move on to something different. Wow! We took over Brickhouse in May 2017 and ran both it and Unify concurrently for a year. We kept the gyms separate, but created dual membership options where members could go to either. What I found over the course of the next year was that running essentially two separate businesses at the same time split me in half. I was giving about 50% to each – not good. In July of 2018 we decided to end our business partnership and with that, I took full ownership of Brickhouse. I was now able to give 100% to the Brickhouse community, which it deserved. From July of 2018 to today, January 2020, Brickhouse has evolved within my vision of health and fitness. We have a space built around positivity, support, kindness, accountability, compassion – all these amazing things that allow someone, anyone, to walk through the doors and change his/her life with fitness and nutrition. We are able to help people from a young age to an old age, from already healthy to completely sedentary, and everyone in between. Just like I was doing at the golf course years back. Over time, I’ve made a lot of changes to our business. Change is hard, because it’s change. It’s not the “norm,” and that can be stressful. But we’ve positioned Brickhouse to be a life transformation center where group classes, personal training, and nutrition coaching are the pieces that create life-changing health for a lot of people. So my “Why” is simple: I want to help people live better lives. At Brickhouse, we use nutrition and fitness (group and personal training) to help that happen. Our actions are supported by our values (above), and we have a growing culture that is turning this amazing flywheel faster and faster. Brickhouse 3.0, I now call it to myself, because I know where we’ve been and I have a vision for where we’re going. The future of health and fitness in Roanoke, Virginia, is bright!