I had made the decision in my head and once I started telling people I knew I had to stick to my word. For around a year I had been saying I would like my own training facility, but I had so much going on with my personal training business and trying to find my way with everything that I couldn’t figure out how I would actually run my own place.
Over time though things started to become very clear to me and I just had this vision. I had convinced myself now, so I knew it was time to start looking around at somewhere to base myself.
Over months and months I kept searching the internet for different units, I genuinely wanted something that was a bit of a dump. I wanted that ‘old school’ feel, something with a bit of character.
I viewed a few different places, my problem was that every place I looked at I was emotionally attached straight away. When you want something so much you can become blinded to what you are actually looking at. Each place had a slight problem and they just didn’t give me that ‘feeling’.
Since becoming self employed I had always gone with my gut instincts, some people may think this is the wrong way to go about things but so far it has worked for me. If I don’t get a good feeling about a situation then I don’t go with it.
I was starting to give up a little bit as I had pretty much looked through every website in search for my ‘cave’. As a last resort I started to drive around old mills and ring the landlords to see if they had any space for me. I eventually found what I had been looking for; unit 20, Carrmills business centre was to be the one.
Situated in Birstall, I thought it was the perfect location for a Boxing gym. I will be honest, I was scared stiff. I didn’t have a lot of money and I didn’t have much of an idea about running my own gym, but I had my vision and this place had given me that ‘feeling’ I was looking for.
It wasn’t the best of starts though, the day I picked up the keys I took my girlfriend with me. Bare in mind she had not seen it yet, only pictures. To put it nicely the place was a tip, the previous tenant had left it a mess and because of a broken waste pipe the unit stunk of s**t. I wont forget the look on Lucy’s face… But then my mum walked in and the look on her face was on another level!
In followed my Dad, cool as a cucumber as usual. He didn’t really have much to say but that’s my old man for you. Once they left I just thought ‘right then, this is all up to me now’. I’m not sure the people around me believed in my project but I 100% trusted my instincts.
The whole process has been pretty stressful, even though Lucy and my parents probably thought I was mad they stuck by me right the way through and helped me as much as possible.
We encountered problems along the way but between me and couple of friends in the building trade we managed to turn my dream into a reality. I wasn’t best pleased getting my tools back out, but its amazing what you will do when you want something so badly!
When the word got out I was opening a boxing gym in Birstall it seemed to really spread like wildfire. People was telling me I should get some boxing star to come and do a grand opening, but in my head I was thinking no star has ever been around during this whole process. I was thinking no one else has more of a right to enjoy the start of all this than my family and the people I actually train.
Everybody I train has at some point put a lot of trust in me, they have all stuck by me and shown a great deal of loyalty. So my ‘grand opening’ was a private Boxercise class exclusively for them. It was a good day and it was brilliant to see so many people turn up for the workout.
Since opening, I have been asked what I have taken away from all of this. All I can say is I have learnt to always go with my gut instincts and if I want to do something, don’t be scared, just do it.
As legendary boxing trainer Cus Damato says –
‘fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your friend. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don’t learn to control it, it will destroy you and everything around you’[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwyd9nuw6cQ&w=560&h=315] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unrw0skm0RM&w=560&h=315]
Like I always say to people about training, this gym is not perfect and it is an ongoing process that will never be complete. The Training Cave will continually develop the same way that every persons body and mind should improve through physical exercise.
‘perfection is impossibility but striving for perfection is not. Do the best you can. That is what counts’
– Coach, John Wooden