One Last Goodbye


This past Tuesday, January 31st, I signed the papers officially transferring ownership of the gym to Josh Marunde. We’ve been working on this deal since the end of October, and I’m thrilled for Josh and the community that we were able to complete it so smoothly. 

The formal announcement on Saturday was a real treat for me. I recognized a lot of people, but as has happened every time I’ve come back lately, I recognized fewer faces than I would have liked. This tells me this is the right time to sell the gym. But more importantly, Josh and Jess are the right people to sell the gym to. 

This gym began six years ago in a 900 square foot pole barn, with one barbell, no mats, and no clients. My vision was always to build the best strength and conditioning facility anywhere, and Josh and Jess are the right people to take this vision forward.

“Light yourself on fire with passion, and people will come from miles around to watch you burn.”

Josh’s passion for CrossFit emanates from him. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been with Josh, having dinner or coffee, and watched him strike up a conversation with someone who knows absolutely nothing about CrossFit, and watched as he’s gotten people, many of whom didn’t exercise, excited about doing CrossFit. I’ve watched him turn critics into believers. I’ve seen him work with people who’ve lost their motivation to train and eat right and get them back on the path to health.

Josh is the best coach I know because Josh cares more than anyone I know. He genuinely cares about helping people. He cares about our members’ lives outside the gym, and he cares about the city of Kalamazoo, and supporting small businesses here.

But I don’t have to tell you any of this.

I thought about writing and asking you to give him the same chance you gave me. But you’ve already done that. I thought about asking you to put your full confidence in him. But your confidence has been in him since he started as our head coach back in June. I know this “transition” will be easy because it’s been easy to leave our full faith in Josh over the past year, and because you’ve given him your full confidence from the very beginning.

Lastly, I just want to thank each and every one of you for being part of this dream for the past six years. I want to thank you all for enriching our lives.

I especially want to thank anyone who has ever put their confidence in us as a client. You are the life blood of our community, and the most decent, dedicated, and fun people I know. I am a better person for having the experience of knowing you and the privilege of coaching you.

I also want to thank everyone who’s ever coached for us for shepherding our community forward. Our coaches have been entrusted with upholding our values and treating our clients like family, and we’ve been so lucky to have the highest quality of coaches right from the beginning. 

It’s unoriginal to describe this moment as bittersweet, but I’m afraid I can’t think of a better word. But the ‘bitterness’ isn’t regret or worry for the future. It’s nostalgia. It’s reminiscence. The gym is in better hands than it has ever been, and I’m taking with me the most important things – the memories and relationships I’ve built with all of you. Thank you all so much.

Jack, Trinity and Leif. 

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