I started working for My Gym in 2007, which is crazy to think about cause it’s a full circle moment for me. When I started at My Gym, I didn’t know I would be where I am now. In 2007 I started as a trainee and then became a lead teacher. I stayed with the Santa Barbra location until 2009; then, I transferred to Sac State, where I worked at the Elk Grove location until I left for the Summer and worked at Hume Lake, where everything I learned at My Gym helped me thrive and be the person that I am today. I always had these skills that we use at My Gym, but the gym helped me hone them more and more; in 2012, I moved back to Santa Barbara and became the Director of the Santa Barbara Location, which was terrific. I did that until 2020. 2018 I needed to refine myself and see if teaching was my goal. I moved to Nashville, where my goal was to work at a private school. But then we had to define ourselves as a world. My world was turned upside down when we all got hit with the Pandemic. I know many people disliked the Pandemic, but I felt like I grew so much to become the person you see in front of you. While in Nashville, I worked at the Brentwood location, and I’m so thankful that I worked with the ladies there. I learned so much from them. I got the call in October 2020. I was offered my own gym, but I wasn’t sure if it would happen until May 2021. In June, we started the process to get the gym opening again, which happened so fast; I was still living in Nashville and had 30 days to move back to California.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t think that any road is smooth, and this road hasn’t been easy, but I’m thankful for every bump and fork in the road. For years, I was told, “I would be a partner,” and it never happened. I worked hard every day and night to ensure I knew everything about the business. Every year I was heartbroken because I hadn’t gotten that partnership. I don’t think the previous owner I worked with meant to do this, but it’s just the way things happened. Another challenge was trying to understand a world I was unfamiliar with regarding the lawyers and the contractors; I was a deer in headlights. Opening near the end of a pandemic was stressful as well; as staff shortages grew and families were still on the fence about signing up, I was genuinely unsure what the outcome would be.
Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I grew up dancing; it was my outlet; I didn’t have a “horrible” life. My Mom did the best she could by raising three young boys as a single parent, but I think it made my life less painful when it came to being a young black male without a father figure in my life. And again, my Mom is the best; she always supported me in every direction, and even when she didn’t want to, she did it for me. Dancing is a passion of mine, and I’ve been able to create and use my imagination on many levels. It helped with creating a showcase with the dance class at My Gym; we have done some fantastic showcases in the past, and people know us from those performances. We were really small, but everyone had faith in my creativity, and they knew that we could pull it off. That support helped us have a great showcase and continue to have great showcases afterwards.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
In a business, you are always lucky and unlucky; the unlucky part for me was being told I wouldn’t be a partner and that never happened to me. But also, in a business like this, you are hopeful people enroll and sign up for the “Product,” but you never know. The lucky part is that I am now a My Gym owner. I have opened the door for the community and a community that I love so much! Also, the staff here has been the best first staff I could have opened the doors with. The amount of support from the community since we opened has been such a blessing.
- $129 a month 1 class a week, and unlimited Practice & Play
- $499 Grand Birthday party
- $599 Deluxe Birthday party
- $699 Permier Birthday party
- $50 PNO (Parents Night Out) Date Night Twice a month
- Website: www.mygym.com/santabarbara
- Instagram: mygymsantabara
- Facebook: mygymsantabaabara