This Week In Running A Gym - August 6, 2014 [Suckerpunch Edition]

It's Friday morning and I'm packing for another trip. This time Lisa and I are going to Vegas for a combatives/self-defense workshop with my man-crush Tony Blauer. Tony is the guy whose DVD about the science of the suckerpunch I used for an earlier article in this column. I hope to come back as a suckerpunch master, and I've been looking forward to this since is signed up for it 6 months ago. But I have to say I'm not thrilled with the whole process of packing and getting to and from the airport, rental cars, hotel rooms, etc. Seriously, I don't envy those of you who have to travel for work. I guess you figure out the logistical bits, but the toughest part was getting shifts covered and making sure things back home get taken care of while we're gone. If travel was a regular part of life I wouldn't want to commit to doing things around home that would need to be maintained in my absence, like having kids and stuff like that. Anyway, come talk to me next week and I'll show you what I learned about suckerpunching people.

Speaking of travel and shift coverage, Coach Amanda will be gone for a couple of weeks. She left yesterday for England. It'll be a well-deserved break for her. She works a lot and she works hard, I'm super-grateful to have her. In her absence Leon and I will be picking up a significant chunk of her coaching hours. It'll be the first time since moving to the new space that we'll have a consistently full teaching schedule. By full I mean that we'll coach four or more classes a day. This may not seem like much, but coaching can be surprisingly exhausting, even when it doesn't appear that we're doing much. You're always "on," you're keeping an eye on the clock, sharing the physical space with other users, explaining activities, and constantly scanning athletes for dangerous and inefficient movement. On top of that, people have questions about personal concerns, about membership accounts, newbies coming in to check it out, and people who want to bullshit about this, that, or the other. All of which is good and all I enjoy, it's just that after about 5 hours of that, you can start to feel low-energy and in need of a recharge. A couple weeks will be fine, just enough to make us really and truly appreciate Amanda and maybe shower her with gifts when she returns.

It's also time I announced the result of our Front Desk Ninja search. Two weeks ago we had just opened up the floodgates to applicants for the position. We had received 125 initial candidates, some of whom piqued my interest. After cutting the field in half and moving into the next round we gathered more information about them. It was at this time when I came into the gym one afternoon that Leon asked me what I thought of the possibility of Craig in that position. There was no real thought necessary- here's a guy who has been one of our great success stories, who has been involved with the gym behind the scenes for a couple of years, who has extensive business experience and would only make us better by getting even more deeply involved. The only business advice I ever got from my dad when I was young was to, "Hire good people and let them do their jobs." I'm not sure why he would tell me that, since he was a teacher and I never expressed interest in business; but I think it's great advice. This definitely falls into that category. But I didn't want to make a decision right away, so I went home and slept on it. I read somewhere a long time ago that getting a night of sleep before a big decision helps improve outcomes. (It's also true that if you wash your hands before a decision you'll make better quality choices, the research seemed to point to some psychosomatic effect stimulating certain regions of brain. And there's your trivia for the day.) So after sleeping on it and deciding that the only downside was that I'd have to disappoint the other applicants, and since that would happen to almost all of them anyway, Craig was our man.

There is more stuff going on that I want to talk about, but this would end up a very long article and I really do need to go pack. Next week.

By Morgan on Wednesday, August, 06, 2014