It was spring of 2008. Annie and I were newlyweds living in a 700 sq ft, one bedroom one bathroom apartment, with street parking, no laundry and 1.5 miles from the beach. I was 27 years old, had a beautiful wife, training a few clients and on the search for an opportunity. After personal training since 2001 I had recently found this new way of training called, CrossFit, and it instantly gave me the recharge in my personal fitness that had been lacking for quite some time.
I came home on a beautiful spring night to find Annie on the internet looking for homes. I instantly thought she was “dream building” and looking around the west side. I come to find out that she is looking for houses in South Dakota! “Look babe, this house is 3 times the size of our apartment and the mortgage is a few hundred dollars less!” Honestly, I thought nothing of it at the time although I was curious to where this idea was coming from. As the weeks went by I noticed she would continue looking at SD houses and talking about it more frequently. Until one day she confided with me to say that she is not happy with where we are at in our lives. “LA is too big. I want to own a home. I want to raise our future family outside of California.” At the time I was blinded by the beach life, great weather and was content. The more we discussed it I began to realize, she was exactly right. I didn’t have a focus, purpose or goal and I was up for an adventure. And as we discussed the possibility of moving to Sioux Falls there was one thing that did catch my eye and really helped make the decision for me. I had big dreams of being a business owner. I knew I wanted to stay in the fitness world, and this CrossFit thing was beginning to take over my life since it offered the fitness aspect and now the potential of a business ownership. I noticed there was a CrossFit affiliate in all but 8 states… Yep South Dakota being one of them.
It was June 2008 when we officially made our decision and by September we packed up the moving truck, our car and we were off to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Our family and friends thought we were crazy, but we knew what we were up for the adventure and I think a lot of people want to take a leap like we did but are too afraid to pull the trigger and make it happen.
We arrived in Sioux Falls October 6, 2008 and knew all of about 3 people at the time. But I had a dream and I was going to get right to work. By December 19, 2008 we had a space (1600 sq ft with about 900 sq ft of floor space), equipment (1 rower, a couple bars, few sets of bumpers, probably more steel plates than bumpers, 2 used racks, a friend made our pull-up bars and plyometric boxes) and we were in business. Our doors opened to the public January 5th, 2009. I did what I could to spread the word. Sponsored a fitness idea with KDLT, got on CrossFit Radio for an interview (listen to it HERE), started passing out flyers and slowly people started to come.
The start of the gym was slow but steady. As the weeks rolled on we started to learn something… The more we pushed people; The more we challenged them–> The more we YELLED at them–> The more they came back–> The more of their friends they brought with them–> The more we poured into our gym the more we received back.
By the December 2010, though we started knowing 3 people in Sioux Falls, we had grown the gym to a near 200 membership. We had poured our blood, sweat and tears into our 1st business. We then got presented with another opportunity. We could move back home to California and sell our business. With much thought, prayers and talk we decided to take that next opportunity and move back to California. Thus ending our adventure with Sioux Falls.
Little did we know it was only Part 1.
Next week find out why we came back. And why we are here to stay:-)