Open Letter to friends and colleagues:
What a great run I have had! For the past 25 years, I have been fortunate to call myself a teacher and coach. I have had the honor and privilege to pass along knowledge and guidance to young people, and there is nothing more fulfilling than participating in the growth of our future generations.
About three years ago, I started a new journey when I discovered CrossFit. In June of 2013, I sponsored a group of High School students that wanted to start a “CrossFit Club” at our school. My students and I attended our first class at Hines Park CrossFit, and that day something clicked for me. It was a similar feeling that I felt a quarter century (yeah, CENTURY!) earlier when I coached my first team and taught my first class. It brought back the rush of competition and team camaraderie.
Throughout the class, I pushed the students and they pushed me right back. At the end of the hour, we collapsed in the middle of the field tired and out of breath, but we felt accomplished and more confident in our ability to reach any goal. In 2013, I was 50 years old but I felt like a kid again. Today, I am 53 years old and my passion for the Sport of Fitness has never been stronger. As an athlete, CrossFit pushes my mental and physical boundaries. Through CrossFit I have discovered a community of like-minded, caring, trustworthy people who inspire me to be better every day. Most importantly, CrossFit and the community have reminded me that anything is possible, we only live once, and we should live life without regrets.
Taking the Leap
A couple months ago, XLR8 Athletix came to me with an opportunity. The company was in negotiations to open its next facility, and the management team wanted me onboard – full-time. This would be an opportunity to live CrossFit full-time; an opportunity to start the next chapter of my life and career. Needless to say, change is scary - running a new gym, building a community from scratch, hiring coaches, learning new skills, and flexing new muscles is exciting, but it is also terrifying.
A couple weeks ago, my family and I decided that the right thing to do is follow my dreams. I need to combine my experience as a coach and teacher with my love for fitness and sport. The timing was right and the opportunity was too good to pass up. I accepted the offer!
As of April 15th 2016, I will be officially retired as a teacher in the Northville School District, and I will be officially taking the position of Director of Operations for CrossFit On The Dunes (OTD) Fieldhouse in Commerce, MI. My duties will be to manage OTD, coach classes, train athletes, and build the best fitness community in the Detroit area. Of course, I will not be doing this alone. The XLR8 Athletix team includes many coaches, staff and support partners that I will collaborate with to make this happen. I cannot express how excited I am for this opportunity and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
I have one request from all of you. The OTD build-out will be finalized in the next couple weeks, and we have a daunting task ahead of us. I would like to ask for your help in getting the word out. Let your friends and family know what we are doing and point them my direction. We are going to have one of the best CrossFit gyms in the world. Our X|8 Boot Camp program is perfect for those people not sure about CrossFit, and is also great for CrossFitters looking for a workout without barbells and a bit more high-intensity training. Don’t forget that we offer Personal Training, as well as Youth Athletics - I personally have room for five Personal Training clients starting April 18th. If you have specific goals, mobility issues, or you have high-school age athletes looking for an edge-up on the competition, contact me ASAP. I have 10 hours/slots (that can be done as ½ hour session) per week available, but we also have some other great coaches and great programs. I can set you up with the option that works best for you and your friends and family.
Finally, the XLR8 Athletix family has been unbelievably supportive and patient, and I thank them for sticking with me during my decision-making process. I’m thankful for the opportunity. No one knows what the future holds for us, but I am excited to experience the next 25 years in my new career!