Thanks for the Memories!

A bench press station in a Winnipeg gym with a sign that says "online."

Today’s the last day of online group classes at 204. The last one happens at 5 p.m., and when it ends, it’ll be the conclusion of a journey that started back in 2008 when I had the idea to become a fitness coach.

I won’t get into the history here. I’ll just say that the last 12 years have been characterized by great people and great workouts. Lots of both.

The Covid Crisis has been tough, but maybe the toughest part is not getting to say goodbye to everyone in person. We didn’t get to hug it out, reminisce or even hit a final workout in the old place.

In a way that actually might be best. As all our clients know, I’m an emotional person, and trying to say thank you to everyone would be impossible for me.

There’s just no way to thank people who gave me and Crystal a chance at a new career and then supported our business as it grew over the last decade.

I also can’t thank people for 10 years of motivation. I’ve been amazed daily at the inner strength and courage of our members, and watching what you’ve all accomplished has been inspiring. Many times, I was able to step outside the clanging of bars in a class to just marvel at how lucky I was to be surrounded by a wonderful group of people who wanted to get fit together.

The last few months have been challenging. I rarely talk about any of that because no one pays us to complain. We provide the best hour of the day and nothing less. But as things draw to a close, I’ll just say that it’s been a crazy three months, and our clients got us through it, just as they got us through a few tough moments over the years. All your support and your many messages meant the world to us.

We’re incredibly sad to bid farewell to a space we loved for almost 10 years, and to our group workouts. But at the same time, we’re moving ahead with confidence to try something new. We completed one tough workout, and we’re moving on to the next one, always striving to be better. That’s what we’ve always done.

Everyone is responding to the pandemic in his or her own way, and we’re doing the same. We were one of the first few boxes in the city, and so we’ll be the first one to try a new approach to fitness and nutrition as we move through this crisis.

Honestly, I’m excited about online fitness because I think we can help people work out more often and get even fitter. At first glance, it might be strange to try and do that without a physical gym, but I’ve talked to hosts of gym owners and clients over the years, and here’s one of the biggest barriers to fitness:

“I don’t have time.” We’re going to fix that.

Here’s another: “I’m too scared to go to a gym.” We’re going to fix that, too.

One more: “I’m heading to the lake and can’t work out this summer.” That’s going to change.

We’re thrilled that we get to keep working with some of our current clients online, and we’re committed to providing you with an amazing new service that helps you accomplish your goals. Crystal and I put the finishing touches on it yesterday, and we can’t wait to launch it tomorrow and hear your feedback.

That excitement is balanced by sadness. I’m sentimental, and I’d like to keep cranking Iron Maiden and squatting on Berry Street forever. I’m not good with change, but I’m not good at running either, and I did a lot of running workouts. If I can get through Murph, I can get through this change.

Beyond sadness, the overwhelming feeling I have right now is gratitude. It’s overwhelming.

I’m sorry I can’t thank everyone in person, so I’ll just say this:

To everyone who ever sweated with us in a park, in a driveway, at the Assiniboine Athletic Club, in Dale’s Garage or under the Jolly Roger at 483 Berry St., thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We love you all more than we can say.

Mike, Crystal, Heavy and Little Z

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