All good things…
CrossFit Merced started unofficially in the summer of 2010, and officially on March 1, 2011. A lot happens in ten years. I’ve been on the receiving end of miles of support, starting with my wife, Jen, my partner, Matt, our CFM coaches, and every single member we’ve had. It’s overwhelming to try to quantify all of the good that others have done for me in the last decade. CrossFit Merced has become one of the truly unique and special places in this region – and it gives me an incredible amount of pride. I am both proud and humbled to be associated with such a remarkable group of people.
As CFM has developed into a dynamic community, my life has also changed. I won’t ever forget coaching nearly every class through the first several years. I remember turning on the lights at 5 AM and turning them off at 8 PM and coaching every class in between. Jen would bring the kids to the gym in the middle of the day between our classes so I could hang out with my kids who were so small. They were literally raised at CrossFit Merced. I’d be exhausted, satisfied, and fulfilled all at the same time – and Jen enabled me to give it my all at CFM by taking control of our home life in the most joyful and gracious manner. Jen has always lifted me to stand taller than I ever could on my own.
I started a partnership with Matt which allowed me to finish law school and pass the bar exam. The debt I owe to Matt for carrying the burden for me during that time couldn’t possibly be repaid. Matt became my closest and most trusted friend. What started with our CFM partnership developed into a truly special bond. While our operations at CFM are small by many standards, there is far more that goes into holding up CFM than most people realize. From financial management to client development to marketing to mentoring, there is an astonishing number of hours of work and lots of tough decisions to be made. Matt and I have been able to handle this in a way that has never created friction between us.
As more coaches jumped on board we developed into the most educated, accomplished, experienced, and capable group of coaches that Merced will likely ever have. Our coaches are incredibly special people who have earned their positions via hard work, patience, talent, and a true love of helping people. They are nothing short of extraordinary.
Harley, Jeff, and Gus have emerged from the group to become important leaders to CFM and lifelong friends to me. I depend on them to cover for me when I come up short. They are incredibly loyal. I can’t emphasize that enough – they are the most loyal people you could ever meet. I love these guys.
As my legal career developed and my family grew, I have begun to get involved with a bundle of peripheral matters, which has been quite rewarding. I have served on several boards, coached multiple sports, began new entrepreneurial projects, and supported Jen in her own cake-tacular world domination tour. My kids have grown from babies to bigs, and they love involving me in their countless adventures. All the while I have maintained my love of CrossFit Merced.
I still love showing up every day at 5 AM and working my tail off with the early class (note: gosh I miss you guys). I love the challenge of a long grinding WOD and the soul-sucking horror of the short girl-named workouts. I love the burn in my lungs and legs at the end of a big set of thrusters. I love being constantly surprised that “the workout was harder than it looked.” I love sharing it with the other CFM members and coaches. These are the reasons I will continue to be at CFM until my wheels fall off.
But today my position has changed. I have decided to transition away from my role as an owner/partner – and into my role as CFM head movement coach. As mentioned earlier, there is so much time and effort required to keep CFM operations moving. Over the last few years I have not been able to put in the requisite labor is needed, which has been unfair to my partner, our coaches, and our members. I take full responsibility for this. While (the COVID quarantine disaster notwithstanding) nothing catastrophic has happened, there have been minor lapses in communication with clients and coaches. This has led to a small bit of lost momentum in some of our classes and programs. Fortunately, Matt and the rest of the coaches have been gracious with me and picked up the slack.
My wife and kids will always get the best of me. I just can’t do it all. These days (again, COVID notwithstanding) I still start my “work day” at 5 AM and finish around 7 or 8 PM. The difference now, though, is that there is no downtime in between to spend with my kids. Something has to give, and I cannot be a gym-owner any longer.
Rather, I will be a CFM coach. No, I’m not going anywhere. Ever. Let me repeat that for the folks in the back: I’M. NOT. GOING. ANYWHERE. I’ll be at CrossFit Merced until they put me in the dirt; I just won’t own the gym any longer.
John Sweigard will be stepping into my shoes as a partner/owner of CFM. John has developed into an integral part of CFM’s leadership structure where he has excelled. John brings fresh perspective to the CFM family and has the aptitude and experience to do some special things.
CFM’s legacy is wildly important to me. I have directly or indirectly influenced 100% of the CrossFit training in this entire town for nearly a decade. I have developed a coaching skillset that is greater in both depth and breadth combined than anyone around. I mentored the ones that went on to start similar businesses. These are things I am proud of. It’s not lost on me that finding a successor is a very delicate decision. In light of all of this, I have ultimate trust in John’s vision for CFM’s future. I am immensely proud to succeed my place to John. Matt and John will compliment each other well, and CFM will be better for it.
To Matt: Thank you for your being here for me. Every. Single. Time.
To John: Thank you for your commitment to stick to the things that has always made CFM Special.
To the coaches: Thank you for taking your role seriously; for understanding that your service is important to other people’s lives.
To Harley, Jeff, and Gus: Thank you for being homies.
To each member: Thank you for walking into the doors and giving it your best; you are the ones that matter most for the future of CFM. I can assure you that the best is yet to come.
To one and all: I have a much smaller role at CFM now. Accordingly, I can once again give it my all. Feel free to call or text me if you have any questions about any of this. I’m an open book. And I love you guys.
Tldr; I love CFM but my life got too busy to own it. John takes over as partner. I’m still a coach.