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Looking Back 12 Years…and into the Future

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For the last several years, I’ve completely missed the anniversary of when CFG began. 

December 3rd marked 12 years since we first opened in a small warehouse on Lithia Pinecrest Road, right in front of a feed store. I intentionally wrote feed store, because there are some OG CFG Shirts still worn around that have a chicken running amongst people on the back of the shirt. Good times.

In one of the first blog posts I ever wrote about what I wanted CFG to become, I used the phrase: “a one-stop shop for all things health and fitness related.” I wanted people to have access to a suite of services that would improve their quality of life. 

But it was imperative that we did this on a bedrock of Christian values. That was reflected not just in our name and our logo, but in other small ways, such as the music we chose to play, the language we chose to use, and the unwavering Joy we aimed to bring to every interaction we had with folks. 

As we grew, that vision necessitated a move of locations to where we’ve resided for the past 10 years. And just after we moved there, we formed a partnership with EXOS. As the story goes, it came together after a chance breakfast between myself and the guy responsible for me becoming a coach, Jeff Sassone. I owe so much of my career to a guy who took a chance on an 18 year old kid all those years ago.

As many businesses do over their lifespan, we evolved in a lot of ways, mainly in who we served and what we offered. We didn’t have a kids program when we first opened and now they represent an overwhelming majority of those we are blessed to serve. You also see evidence of this evolution in the many ways we’ve rearranged our space over the years. Believe it or not, we never used to talk about nutrition, mindset, sleep, or stress management. Now those are all core pillars of our coaching practice.

And when our client count got to the point that I could no longer serve everyone joining our gym, I brought on staff that carried the torch farther than I ever could have on my own. I am forever indebted to each and every one of them. 

Having a staff I could count on allowed us to serve more people not only locally, but it also opened up three incredible opportunities for me outside the walls of CFG: 

  1. I traveled all over the USA and internationally to coach athletes at the highest level. 
  2. I became a business mentor to other gyms around the world for a company called Two-Brain Business. We work with about 1,000 gyms from all over the globe today.
  3. I created my own fitness education / coach development business called The Refined Art of Coaching. 

But all of that was born out of CFG, something that has been a ministry for Mandy and I since we started it in 2011. It has been an extraordinary blessing to our family and I hope to the many we’ve had the opportunity to serve over the years. We’ve seen God move in many ways, through relationships, our community, ourselves, our team, and all sorts of unexpected, unexplainable situations.

As for what’s next? Well, as I said above, the goal has always been to make CFG “a one-stop shop for all things health and fitness related.” So I am proud to say that we are taking the next step by combining forces with EXOS! With the platform we’ve created through CFG over the past 12 years and their considerable expertise in the health and sport performance space since 1999, we will leverage our resources to serve the community to an even greater extent. 

The next time you walk into CFG, it will look a bit different – from equipment options and layout, to colors and logos. But what won’t be different is the level of care and professionalism that you’ve come to expect from both of our companies. 

And to answer the question I know you’re all asking yourselves – NO – I am not going anywhere! I will be present in both a coach and mentor-type role. 

I know many people don’t like change, so I want to leave you with a word of encouragement. It’s a bible verse that I’ve recited quietly to myself every single day since before we even opened, as we embarked on an unknown journey all those years ago:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

(Philippians 4:6-9 NIV)

Cheers to more changes and God Bless!

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