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An open letter to my gym owner sister tribe

Greetings ladies,

I find myself just sitting here wishing we could all hang out like old times. Watch a movie, be goofy and just laugh. If you are receiving this in your email it is because you were either a gymnast of mine that turned owner, a former employee turned owner or in one case my beautiful daughter turned owner, so listen up because I want to remind you all of a few things. Haha...just like old times I’m gonna tell you what I think! I think a lot of it is that as gym owners we often feel very alone. Especially as women. One of the things that Pam has taught me is that owning a business as a woman in today's times is so much harder than just owning a business. We face stares of judgement from society, feelings of imposter syndrome, patronizing looks and so much more. All of us have chosen the road less traveled and now we may feel the need to prove to everyone that we won't fail. The truth is we might. I'm not gonna lie because as you know I am not one to shy away from speaking truth and facing reality and I don't know what is going to happen. What I do know is that we are in this together. Don't listen to that voice that is saying you are alone and you can't let anyone see you are struggling. Let me tell you some truth today Ladies....WE ARE ALL STRUGGLING AND FREAKED OUT. Pamela and I, (mostly Pamela) have been busting our asses to try to come up with a plan to survive this and every time we get one something throws a wrench into it. It can be so isolating to feel like you have to shoulder the weight of all of this by yourself. Putting on my “superhero” cape and trying to save the world everyday is tough at best, but let me tell you something about that, even superheroes have sidekicks. None of us can do it alone. So as either your former boss, coach, mom or both, I want you to know that I am here. If you need a sounding board, or to brainstorm on creative thinking or just want to express your fears or frustrations, reach out to me and I’ll do my best to help or at the very least hear you and empathize. If not me then someone you can trust and depend on to be honest and real with you. It’s tough to be in a place that feels like a roller coaster between “ I can do this” and “I’m scared as hell,” but think about this. You got to wake up today safe and surrounded by those that mean the most to you. In my case, I’m blessed enough to get to fight this crisis with my crazy smart and extremely motivated business partner who is also my daughter. I mean honestly we both want to choke each other out on the daily, but truth be told we have been killin’ it together for the past 14 years so I feel extremely lucky right now and always that we get to tread these waters together. You see gratitude over being able to wake up safe and surrounded by your loved ones is the beginning of hope and from that one thought we can stretch that hope and gratitude into every other thing that we experience today. It is truly breaking my heart to see all of the businesses closing and empty gyms, including mine, around the country, but let’s be honest. You guys all know the daily struggle we face and it doesn’t take a pandemic to close a gym. One wrong move and we are toast anyway. Hell Pam and I sit weekly and strategize how to stay open, lol. However, on the flip side of that is for 30 years I’ve been thinking today could be the end. I may lose it all next week. It’s NEVER been easy. Not one single time ever in the ever of ever ness. And yet, our gym is still here and in business, facing yet another uncertain day only because our reason to stay open the last time we faced something hard was that our “why” is bigger than our reasons to quit. So I want to challenge you today....take some time to sit down, go over the moment when you first decided you were gonna do what you do. Why did you do it? Think about how excited you were to create an amazing platform for your kids and how much hope you had to be able to make a difference and change the world. Put yourself back there in your mind and create that reality again. Then, instead of having a pity party get creative on what you can do to make it through this time and then fight like hell. And I pray in 30 years you can look back and be able to say “I did that!” No matter where you are on your journey in this, know that I am here with you and I love you. Coach Ellen

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