Winging It with FitLife
Tomorrow, FitLife Summertown opens it’s doors to it’s eagerly awaiting community in north Oxford. Today on the blog, owner Steve Gregory looks back on his FitLife journey so far, and why he’s excited to be bringing the FitLife family to Oxford. >>
It has been a busy time at FitLife. From putting the final touches on our new site in Summertown to the National Fitness Awards.
This week had me thinking about the journey of FitLife so far. So, I wanted to write to you about what it means to win and what it means to wing it until you win it. This time last week, we were at the National Fitness Awards. We were shortlisted for 3 categories, Boutique Gym of the Year, Member Achievement and Regional Gym of the Year. We didn’t win, but even being nominated was an accolade we’re proud to have! To be in the top 7 of 7,200 gyms and studios made me think about how far FitLife has come.
Someone said to me this week that I’ve got this all figured out, but let me tell you the real story…
When I started training people in Mum’s back garden (thanks Mum), I didn’t really have a plan. I just loved it. As more people came to the garden in all weather, I just thought I could do with renting a space to take this indoors. I looked at small units on farms, industrial estates and other random laces to basically do classes and PT, on my own with the clients that I had. Then, I looked round this old doctor’s surgery. I walked straight back out and said no way. I couldn’t sleep for days after that, thinking about the potential of it. So, I revisited and took a property developer with me. Without overthinking, I put the cheekiest offer to the NHS, not thinking they’d take it (it involved them paying me to occupy it) and they said yes. Before I knew it, I had the keys to this place. Not knowing the first thing about gym design or building, I got said property developer back to manage it.
The stress was unholy but it happened. I realise that I needed to learn how to build a website, I employed people I knew, I convinced my wife to do it with me and we opened. Within a year we somehow had 500 members. In that time I learned what members wanted, what staff wanted, how to do payroll, VAT returns etc. Stuff I didn’t plan or want to happen but it just did. The busier we got, the more people we needed and so we hired when we had to. By 2019 people were asking me if I wanted investment to do another and I said yes. So, that happened and we started looking. Not by design, it just happened.
So the thing is, I’m winging it. But that’s ok, because I can also tell you with absolute certainty that so is everyone else. Right now, Rishi Sunak is winging it, Jeff Bazos is winging it.
The reason it’s important to know this, is because you absolutely don’t have to be fit to join the gym. You don’t have to be strong to start weight training, you don’t have to be a runner to go for a run. The only important thing to do is give it a go and figure it out along the way.
If you want to find out more about membership at our new gym in Summertown, find out more on the FitLife website. If you fancy a workout at either of our gyms, myself and the team look forward to welcoming you soon.
Steve at FitLife Summertown