i joined golds gym in bozeman Montana in January of 2007.
it was the first time i had ever stepped in a gym.
it was part of the PAST skills residency program, the idea that "ones fitness determines their reality"
that being said, it was immediate into bodybuilding. back and legs day, chest and bi's.
one guy there began to talk about 3 dimensional movements.
about practicality.
about unintended consequences to ones problem solving ability.
then someone showed me a video shot during the GYM JONES training for the cast of 300.
there was a shift. the difference between talking about ones condition affecting their lives and making it so.
there was simple ideas that made too much sense to ignore.
usable fitness.
psychological stress.
fear, and clarity.
under this new light, the pec deck looked absurd.
i went home and mined the website. i read every word there. went back day by day and tried to decode the theory behind the site. i had to research what a TGU was, what a GHD was, and then find out why it was being used and how to replicate it.

i showed up at the gym every day, i hung out in the group room with a couple medicine balls, some dumbbells and went to work.

i moved, i crawled, i jumped.

i did everything i could think of, and tried to do it with an objective.

i got stuck.
i e-mailed GYM JONES and asked if i could come to a seminar.
weeks went by.

i kept checking.
i remember a workout that started and ended with 100 pullups.
i was happy they didn't get back to me. i joked about it at dinner that night.
after dinner, i had an e-mail.
"show up, or don't. just tell us now."
at least that was the gist of it.

terrified, i paid the fee, got a hotel and planned my trip.
i decided i was going to learn everything i could, and that these guys were probably going to be pricks.
i drove down from montana, spent the night in the back of my truck on some side street in SLC, i showed up in the parking lot early, and more than a little nervous.
when i got there, it was unbelievable. i felt so stupid. the things being said were so simple. at the same time, they were irrefutable. i wanted to know why i didn't think of this myself.
they were helpful. they were encouraging. and if they were pricks, it was in a way i could appreciate.

i went home, converted my garage into a gym and got to work.

after a few months, some good guys came to trim my trees. they saw the end of my workout and asked if they could be next.

we trained. more people noticed. friends were told.

i trained more and different people. sport specific or not. they just came to my workouts. i started a bit of programing. i began to contact coaches because people were looking to me for answers i didn't have. i was feeling responsible for these people, and i wanted to do right.

after 2 years of this, it became a habit.

eventually, a friend of a friend showed up. his sister owned a gym.

they needed a personal trainer.

i got certified and began work.

i applied myself, i found where i could push and where i could bend.

but i would not give up the driveway.

we had days where fifteen people would show up. fit kids. fat kids. people with goals. people who wanted to change. people who fed on the challenge. on the fact that your mental game will shape your workout more than any piece of equipment. we decided to find a place.

the details get muddy, building after building (the first was 515 woodward heights, and right next to the train tracks), crappy landlords, shifting financial tides... i even got crossfit certified to try and satisfy an investor, making sure he knew we were still going to do it my way.

eventually, i was tired of other people letting me down. even my litter sister called me out. she told me she had heard me talking about this for a while, and i still had nothing to show for it...

i found a building.
i trimmed the fat, and made a budget.

i signed the lease.
i bought the equipment.

roll the dice.

make it work.

raise the bar.