Many small businesses get their start from modest beginnings. Our story is no different. What began as a passion for fitness turned into a life changing opportunity over the course of a few very short years. I wanted to share our story with you so you can get a better idea as to who and what we are.
Prior to opening Raise the Bar, I was a technology Program Manager for the Dept. of the Army. With over 17 years in the technology industry, I was successfully climbing my way up the corporate ladder. But the cost for that success was killing me – literally.
With unbelievable stress, long working hours, and a cutthroat corporate environment I had no idea where my career was taking me. It wasn’t looking good.
Business through the eyes of my employer was based on numbers (naturally) and not people, unless those people were contributing to the numbers, of course. In 2010, I stumbled onto P90X and decided it was time to start taking care of myself.
I was already working out but it was aimless. I knew all I needed to know in the gym but I wasn’t holding myself accountable to a higher standard as far as nutrition and fitness went. After successfully completing a couple rounds of P90X with my wife, Jenny, my health and fitness took an incredibly positive turn. So much so we started looking into helping others with their health and well being through fitness. We would teach group classes in our community for free just to get folks moving. We started to see changes in people’s lives. And it was great.
I became fast friends with like-minded professionals and mentors and the journey started to take off. But – I was still in corporate America and it sucked. My only respite was fitness but it wasn’t paying the bills so it remained on the back burner as a hobby.
In 2011, I was encouraged to attend a Tony Robbins event (Unleash the Power Within) with a very good friend of mine. At the time I wanted nothing to do with a self-help guru. I wasn’t that type of guy. I’ve never read self-help books. I didn’t follow Tony Robbins (although I knew of him) which is to say I was quite skeptical.
My buddy insisted. Begrudgingly, I went. After four unbelievable days of celebrating life, addressing some of the limiting factors we all have as adults, and getting in touch with my “God job,” my future was revealed to me.
Sounds crazy, right? We each have a God job by the way. Our God-job is the one talent given to us by God that we are supposed to use to glorify Him.
Mine was to help people, or more to the point, to serve others.
Obviously, it wasn’t Tony Robbins that suggested I open a gym. It was through the recognition of my talent and applying that to what I knew, which was fitness.
I went home after those four days in January of 2011 and had shared my epiphany with Jenny. We were opening a gym by the fall of that year.
With the guidance, support, and strength of our heavenly Father and the incredible support of Jenny, friends that committed their resources to our cause, and a little luck, Raise the Bar opened a couple months ahead of plan in July 2011.
This wasn’t a decision Jenny and I made lightly. If it didn’t work out there would be lasting consequences. I sunk 17 years of retirement savings into a business that I felt was designed as a place for broken people. I’ve since learned that broken comes in many shapes and sizes – poor health, bad health, eating disorders, self confidence, quality of life, vitality, spirituality, and many others. As we age, the challenges in life mount, all of which seem more manageable if our health and fitness are in check.
This is the source of our community and the depth of our commitment to each of our members. While there are times business has to occur to keep our doors open, Raise the Bar, the services we offer, and the relationships we build are a tribute to God.
Raise the Bar is His to succeed or fail. And I’m at peace with either.
I hope this gives you some insight into who we are and what our mission is. We believe in each person who walks through our doors as if the Man Himself sent them to us.
It’s not just a business and we’re not just a gym. Raise the Bar is a community of souls that have been lucky enough to make life-long friendships.