2018 Five Year Formal Speech


DJ – Dont skip songs and don’t become the DJ

Food – dont take the veagan lasagna unless you are veagan it is limited.

Before we get too crazy after dinner we need a group shot and Sam has a few words for us as well.



Alright… So, last year when we did our first formal it was really a coming of age story of this gym. I had just quit my day job and really had only been focusing on the gym full time for about 9 months. During that 9 month period we cleaned up a lot of deficiencies introduced some new programs and I focused all of my energy on growing the gym. We added 30 members during that time and I made it a goal to get in a position to be able to hire some full-time help.

First,  a brief history for those that may not know the path we traveled to get here. In 2012 I got my MBA. I saw this as the big stepping stone to my goal of making it big time… Whatever big time was to me at that time I’m still not entirely sure. Working in fancy firm I suppose…

To that end I took a job at Morgan Stanley, which refers to themselves as The Firm. So, I thought I was on the right path… Anyway, about 6 months into this I had an awakening that climbing the corporate ladder and always looking for the next step just wasn’t my thing. So I built a plan and presented it to the boss, my wife… Marcie didn’t think much of it until I told her to make plans to go to the bank. The bank? she quipped… Yea we have to take a mortgage out against the house. To open the gym. Remember? Obviously she didn’t think I was serious but there we were.

We started out with free workouts in the park on the weekends for about 2 months. This is where 4 of our current members found 410…

When we opened our location I initially planned on working a day job and running classes in the morning and night for ooooo…. about a year. So my day would start at 5am, I would run two classes then go to work and the back for an evening class. Needless to say that this went on for over 3 years. The gym just couldn’t get to a place where I could quit my job and make the move.

In this time I had switched jobs and moved back to my roots in landscaping.. No pun intended. I started to like landscaping again and really lost focus on the gym. With my father passing and a lot of small issues here at 410 I started looking at options to sell the gym. This is in the summer of 2016.

As I was going through this process my boss got demoted and the company was in very bad financial position. The new management and I did not see eye to eye so in October of 2016 I officially quit my job.

It was a huge risk ( i thought) but it turned out to be life changing. I wish I had done it sooner. Here I was doing a job that I hated and was worried about getting fired from in an attempt  to avoid a job I would love and might fail at. And that is life sometimes. We get caught imagining ghosts…

Jim Carrey once said.. You can fail at what you don’t want… so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love… That turned out to be great advice

I hope that brief history is helpful but ultimately today is all about you. Without the dedication you all have to the brand of 410 we would not be here. The hardworking, empathetic, kind and humble folks that are attracted to this gym are such because of the people that are here. You see I realized long ago that the thing that is most powerful about this place is the people that walk through that door. Yes, we strive to provide a great product but I know that without awesome people this doesn’t work.

So this next thing is always fun to do because it shows just how much things have changed while also staying the same. So, everyone stand. If you joined in the past year please sit down… If you’ve been here for 2 years… 3 years… 4 years… If you were here when we opened please stay standing…

First those that aren’t here:

Ian… I’ve gotten to know him a lot over the past 5 years. Ian is the guy that doesn’t say much but knows the most about the people around him. Reminds me a lot of my father. He is an observer and one thing I have grown to love about Ian is his I don’t care what you think of me attitude. He does his thing… you may have seen the videos of him planking at 5am in the parking lot as the coach rolls up to open… But seriously… Ian is one of those people that come into your life and make a profound impact on you without you realizing it until they have moved on. Hopefully Ian never moves on.

Rob… not many of our newer folks know Rob. Rob is an Open Gym warrior. Which is interesting to note following Ian because Ian hates open gym. Rob loves open gym and kettlebells. Rob is also not short on confidence. He once thought he could beat my dog in a sprint. He is also still bitter that Michael Phelps stole his spotlight 15 years ago in a high school awards ceremony. But those of you who know Rob know him to be a big hearted guy who loves his family and holds the people close to him in high regard. We are blessed that Rob continues to be a part of the family.

Chris… my first interaction with Chris was at one of our first park workouts. He was the guy that hung around after the workout and helped me load up the car….He is also the person that took me out drinking… a lot… when my dad passed. The longer that folks are here the more they become family. Not like family… They become family…  It is one of the hard things about a business where you build strong relationships with people but they naturally come and go. To no fault of anyone. Life just happens. I haven’t built too many relationships deeper than the one I have with Chris. He’s like a brother to me and for that I am grateful.

That leaves Jeff… the attendance winner year over year… A staple of the 410 community, arguably the most proud 410er. A loyal patron. And a great friend. A truly great friend. If I had a dollar for every time Jeff texted me to tell me how me and this gym mean so much to so many… we’d be able to buy that prowler that Sam keeps talking about… But Jeff is 410. This gym means so much to him and the loyalty he has shown over the years and the deep love for his time here is a testament to what this gym has become.

Another Founder of course is Marcie. Marcie’s early commitment was what helped get the gym off the ground. With that it was more so her help during the middle years that was most important. It was her support that didn’t let the foundation crack when I was ready to throw in the towel. She pushed me to chase my dreams and without here we never would have seen year 3.

Let’s give it up for all of our founders because without there commitment in our early days we wouldn’t be here…

So, this past year was also a very special year of growth for this community. Not only within these walls but out in the community.

This year the 410 community came together to raise over $4,000 for the Gallup family. We also recently turned out 65 people in an effort of support for Catch A Lift Fund and wounded veterans. And in November we will honor my father in support of pancreatic cancer awareness.

The awesomeness of this community is on full display daily. Events like these highlight the overwhelming power when like minded people come together with the common goal of making this world a better place.

Aside from giving back we have made great strides in other areas as well.. Coach Glassman always says if your bathroom is clean I can help you. If your bathroom isn’t clean that’s a sign of bigger problems. You may have noticed fresh paint, updated decorations, trim…. that now hides the upside down…. and of course an electric hand dryer. Small things but that is virtuosity. We have done and will continue to do the common uncommonly well.

It seems so long ago but this year we installed our lounge area and renovated our lobby. We also painted and cleaned up the GoFit/Open Gym room.

Another thing I am very proud of is we had our biggest CrossFit Open participation. We had over 50 people participate. For context… when I quit my job just about 2 years ago we had 50 members. The Open was awesome this year. So many people came out of their shell and found out that they are capable of awesome things.

We also participated in pride parade and raised money and awareness for Freestate Justice. Another first this year… Can I have Linnea, Laura, Erin, and Steph stand…. These awesome women have shown and are showing us that we are all capable of amazing things if we want them… These women are the first women that 410 has had exercise through pregnancy. Linnea, who came back I think 2 days later, Erin delivered recently and Laura and Steph are expecting… Lets give it up for these awesome women.

Another big thing we did this year was hire someone… This was a major goal of ours for the 2018 year and when i put it in writing last year it seemed so far off and ridiculous to expect. How could I create a job… I kid from Cecil County who’s guidance counselor gave him a list of colleges that at the top said Schools for the Shaky Kid… So many people choose there path out fear disguised as practicality…. Jim Carey.

So… another quick story (and I am almost done)… Last year we had two coaches quit on the same day. That left us with me, Sam and Andy as the only coaches. Almost as soon as I let the coaches know about this… Sam messaged me and said school will be out soon so she can pick up some extra classes? I said of course how many? And she said as many as possible and I can help with other things too… like clean and mop…. SOLD.

When Sam started in June of this year I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve known Sam for a while but it is always scary trying something new.

Needless to say, Sam has been a star. To put it into context… Now I would never do this… But Someone jokes that I should be a tougher boss. They think I should be standing by the door with the toilet brush in hand and give it to Sam as soon as she gets in…. Now this is a joke. But when writing this I was thinking about what would happen. And honestly as long as i did it in a nice way I don’t think Sam would complain. Sam always jumps in to help. Like when she wanted to get the HVAC to clean up water in the GoFit room…. Of course she meant shop Vac but that was a fun conversation…

Sam is also the one responsible for finally getting the community workouts like the Zoo and SPCA off the ground. This has been on my list for the past 18 months….

Not to mention she recently passed her level 2… When she finished her first day she texted me and said I have some ideas… One thing people may not realize is just how much Sam cares about being the best coach she can for you.

She puts a lot of thought into her craft and we are blessed to have her here full time… So… With that here is a little gift for you. I know it seems silly but it is a testament to how much she likes fitness.

To that end we are blessed with a very qualified coaching staff that knows you. That is the big thing for us. It isn’t to have as many coaches as possible so I can take more vacations. Our selection process of a potential coach has more questions than do you have a Level 1… we look at the whole person, make sure they are a fit AND make sure they can make people better and healthier.

Since G is here… I have to mention him a bit. G is the type of person you want on your side. Not only does he want to do the best possible job but he genuinely cares about doing the best possible job for the right reasons… By that I mean he wants to see the people he cares about succeed (except for when I’m beating him).

When I look at all of the awesome people here and all of the awesome people in my life I can’t help but think of my father. Everything always seems to come back to that for me.

My father was big on loyalty. He was also quiet so if you let him down you never really heard about it. You also likely never heard from him again either. I bring this up because for some reason I have a lot of loyal people in my life.

My dad was in this building one time before he passed. He helped install these wood floors. In life, things happen to us that we can’t explain… That’s just part of this journey and growing…

My father wasn’t here for much of this… The growth of the gym and the growth of me as a CrossFitter., but I know he’d get a kick out of it. The other day I turned around on a handstand walk for the first time and couldnt help but think about how cool he would think that is… He was a proud man who lived for his kids. A lot of what I do now is to make him proud.

So, there is this scene in the show The Office. It is the final episode and one of the characters says to the camera… I wish there were a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them… Sam and I talked recently about the importance of taking a moment to appreciate things. Looking through old photos or posts it is really crazy to think about where this started and where it is now. But even more crazy is all of the stories in between now and then…. Every pound lost… Every relationship formed… Every mental block crushed… It is easy to get lost in the daily hustle and forget about the work you have done. It is important to remember that everything you have and everything you have done and will do is a product of you.

The constant and relentless pursuit of excellence is what drives us. And we hope we make you proud to be a part of this community. Here’s to another year of fellowship and boding with hardworking, empathic, kind and humble folks…