Friday, December 6, 2013

It's Hard to Say Good-Bye

I usually leave the gym feeling refreshed and confident, but yesterday was different. It was my first day back to the gym since the Thanksgiving break. I only got to enjoy the newly remodeled gym one day last week. The kids room was stocked with new toys and a play house. I was excited to show my 2-year-old, Liam the changes. As we rode in the car to the gym, Liam kept repeating his friend's name. He knew his friend would be there because his parents operated the gym.

I walked into the gym, it still smelled of fresh paint and vinyl. It was Monday, so things seemed a little sluggish. There was no one at the counter to greet me and sign-me in. So, I just signed the sheet. I walked Liam back to the kids room. Liam's friend wasn't there. He was probably sick, I thought to myself until one of the staff asked me, "Have you heard what happened?" "What do you mean? I answered. "They let the operators of the gym go," they responded. "And Liam's friend won't be coming," they concluded. My heart just sank at these words. Liam just loved playing with his friend, and his parents were couple of encouragers on my fitness journey.

Their sweet family with one on the way created a family-like experience at the gym. It wasn't all about the tough guys and body builders, but about moms and dads, brothers and sisters being welcomed with a friendly-smile and putting in a great workout.

I hear it's not all about the smiles and the sense of family. Fitness is more than getting in shape; it's about a bottom line. I wish it was more about the warm and fuzzy and the good-feeling endorphins than the financials. I had to remind myself that Fitness is also an industry ran by corporate big-wigs. Corporations aren't bad; it's just tough. I personally believe that customer service goes along way especially in a market over-saturated with gyms, yoga studios, and dojos. It's a survival of the fittest kind of world, and sometimes the good get cut.

I didn't get to say good-bye or thank you to this wonderful family, so here goes. Thank you for your welcoming smile. Thank you for providing the best childcare workers to watch my kids. Thanks for encouraging me on my fitness journey with capable trainers and equipment, and thank you for creating a family atmosphere. May better job opportunities present themselves and may you know you will be missed and remembered.


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