*The title of this post was taken from the Sister Sledge song of the same name*
We have been at this training thing for nearly 7 years. That means you have been a client of mine almost as long as I’ve had this business. Over that time, you’ve lost a fantastic amount of weight (30lbs) and I’ve continued to watch you get stronger, more agile and more confident in what your body is capable of.
Not only that, but I have gained a great friend, avid supporter and someone I consider my little brother (which is funny seeing as how you stand nearly 6 inches taller than me!)
I have tried to write this tribute to you a couple of different times and nothing felt quite right. A few weeks ago, I wrote a tribute to our mutual friend, Mike, and I do believe I got that one out the way I wanted it to be. You and Mike have been with me nearly as long.
However, this message to you needed to be different because our relationship, both personal and professional, has been different.
Like Mike, you have seen me through some pivotal moments: the loss of my father, the marriage to Marissa (which you so gratefully donated your time to in being an usher at) and certainly the constant evolution of this monster we know as RevFit.
This leads me to the really amazing thing about our working relationship together.
You have been the gateway to a community that has continued to thrive here at RevFit: our LGBTQ community.
Through you, I’ve met, worked with and/or continue to do work with: Christa, Matt, Brandon, Chris, John, Matt, Rick, and Stephannie (in no particular order.) What these individuals have contributed to the culture, the positive morale, the love and mutual support of others here at the studio is beyond my comprehension of the English language to describe.
They are, like you, people I consider family.
Rumor is, even more of the “family” may be starting here soon. Talk about the power of networks and circles of influence. Wow!
Not only that, but to watch what our friends have been capable of accomplishing with their physiques and their respective goals here has been awe-inspiring. You have surrounded yourself with some of the greatest people I’ve had the opportunity to meet, and in one way or another, you led them all here. I should be mindful of the fact that there was strength in numbers and as more came, more were willing to come.
And I have seen you through challenges as well. When you started here, you were in a relationship with Matt (one of the aforementioned two) who was also kind enough to usher at our wedding with you. Relationships can be challenging, as you both know, and it was extremely tough when I heard that the two of you would be splitting up. I had only ever known the two of you as a couple, so to see each of you as anything but was not easy. However, it’s not my place to say what should or shouldn’t be. Only to respect the space you have given one another and watch where those paths lead.
And of course, I saw (all of) you through the loss of Christa who left this world far too soon…
This all makes the component of exercise a very small piece of a larger puzzle. Over the course of seven years, we learn things about one another that go far beyond a diet or an exercise program. Friendships and brotherhoods are formed that become unbreakable. It essentially defines the “personal” in personal training.
You have helped me build my business and foster an environment and community which allows me to support my family. I have, in turn, helped you build your business as well! For those of you in small business reading this who are not using Brandon’s services for your credit card processing needs, you really need to reach out to him (*plug plug*)
And as any friend would do, I have to say: I love you, brother. You are a great friend and I will always be in your debt for your kindness to me and my family. I can think of no better way to end this than with your words: