A Year of MADness: gratitude, awards, community + <3

It would be impossible to put into words just how amazing the experience of opening MADabolic Cville, and mostly growing [with] this community, has been.  We opened with new programming and a logo, and that’s about it.  Over the last year we have built a (small, but mighty) machine that runs partially on our developed structure and mostly on the energy, humor, and incredible support of the clients (now friends) that walked through the doors and brought this concept to life.

The foundation, for me, definitely comes from my business partners.  If there’s one thing that I’ve learned it’s the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people; the educated challengers, the perpetual learners, and the people who push you to be unhappy with the status quo.  They’re the people that share not only your vision and goals, but also the drive, passion, and business acumen that actually makes those goals attainable — and they would be doing it even if you weren’t there.  The truth is, you really are only as strong as your weakest link, and that’s always the biggest risk to any effort, large or small, entrepreneurial or corporate.

I’m so grateful for the strengths of my business partners.  The different perspectives, experiences, and business maturity that I get to learn from and collaborate with every day are unparalleled.  There’s a contagious enthusiasm as we run our businesses and plan for whatever it is we decide to do next — because I know that it will be the enemy of our discontent, and the byproduct of our learned successes and failures.  I’m a complete believer in strengths based architecture and professional development in establishing high performance teams — all of which takes some level of intention and accuracy when constructing, but I’ll be the first to admit that I got really freaking lucky when I stumbled upon these amazing individuals.  This is not normal, and I know it.

But, really, this isn't normal.
No, but, seriously, this isn’t normal.

 That’s what fills me up every day, it drives me, and fuels higher performance levels from me in my ‘real’ job, these businesses, and my own training (well, that, and all of the amazing people that bring our concepts to life).  The fitness piece of what we do is just the hook.   It’s a passion for all of us, sure, and it’s what gets people in the doors, but at the end of the day this is a business, just like any other, and a passion for the product doesn’t make the machine function.  Without the insatiable energy and enthusiasm that our communities fill our spaces with every day, I don’t know if the rest of it would seem as worth it.  While it’s critical to build the right management team, part of surrounding yourself with the right people includes developing strong client relationships, and reciprocating on the value that is provided from both.   The shared experience and the dual benefit — that’s the power of community — and it’s not a one way street.

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville
Last Saturday’s 8:30am class / post lululemon product bomb

That’s what we’ve found to be the beautiful reality in Charlottesville over the last year (and let’s be real, Charleston, you’re right on our heels already).  Once again I feel like we already won life with our community alone, and I so appreciate it.  Each small business venture brings a new perspective (this is my 9th and counting) and I couldn’t be happier with what has been built here.  Charlottesville is my heart, it’s my own personal ‘Best of,’ and it’s every sweet niche pulls on my heartstrings.

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville

fuel sweat grow: MAD Cville

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville

This week Cville Weekly announced the winners of it’s ‘Best of’ awards, an award that simultaneously means nothing and everything in this small town, and we were lucky enough to win Best Niche Gym.  The winners just so happened to be announced and featured the same week we are celebrating one year of business, which just made the celebration all the more meaningful.

fuel sweat grow: MAD Cville Best of

So, to make a long story longer, thank you Charlottesville and all of our MAD clients for giving us all the love you have, and a big thank you  to my business partners for not only buying into the idea of bringing an unknown concept to such a crazy small town, but also for hanging in through chaos, sharing your experiences, and allowing me to leverage all of your strengths to navigate what has certainly been a year of unknowns.

When Life Takes Your Hammer, Pump the Breaks

I specifically set aside time tonight to finally hang some of the art and pictures that have been leaning up against my walls for the last few weeks, but, since I’ve just realized that I apparently don’t own a hammer, I think I’ll blog instead.  I guess if I’m going to take the glass-half-full approach, I now have sudden and unforeseen extra time which I can wholly appreciate.

This weekend is the first in a really long time where I don’t ‘have’ to be anywhere or do anything in particular, so naturally, by tomorrow at 9am I’m going to be attempting to do ALL THE THINGS. But that’s okay, because I can, and I can do it in my own sweet time, thoughtfully and completely. But lets be honest, I’ll be at MADabolic CLT tomorrow morning sweating out the residual effects of this past week.


My two major focuses right now are MADabolic Charlottesville and MADabolic Charleston.  We’re gearing up for some pretty amazing things at both locations — obviously OPENING in Charleston is a pretty big deal and comes with a substantial amount of work to spread the word and get connected, but Charlottesville is on my mind perhaps even more — for many reasons.

There is nothing better than a Friday afternoon in Charlottesville when the weather is warm and the sweet, small, little city is alive.  I love that town so much it hurts, and in a way that can only be fully understood by those who have shared a period of their life there as well.  Having MADabolic Charlottesville nestled into the heart of the city, building it’s own amazing community and small piece of the 3-mile world, is something I am so grateful for.  It has changed my affinity for the city — or really just re-focused it.  And while it is great to bring a new concept that is changing lives from a fitness perspective, the community itself is changing our lives and building something more substantial than any other community I’ve been a part of.  People you would never expect to hang out are connecting, becoming friends, and developing a deep appreciation for each person’s individual journey and efforts.  They are championing each other’s causes and becoming family in a way that can be too rare. You don’t see that everywhere – trust me, I’ve been places.  It’s a product of the city we are in, the incredible people that started with us early on, and the MAD boots on the ground building it.



Fuel Sweat Grow: MAD parties

Dar's MAD Birthday



There was a great article that came out this week from C-Ville weekly on MADabolic Cville, exposing some of the nuances and intricacies that make what we do so different in our programming.  It was a great article, and the writer did a great job of capturing the product in a short snapshot — but there was so much more I wish could be captured in words, because it’s the energy, positivity, and connectedness that comes from being a part of it all that makes my heart hurt when I’m away for too long.

This weekend I’ll be cranking out the next 6 months of events for Cville, some MAD invasions (yes, it does sound vague, doesn’t it? that’s because it’s a secret still), and some great rewards and deals for our clients and their friends.  It’s the season of MADness, and while Charleston is the big brass ring at the end of the next 7 weeks, Charlottesville is still my heart.

That being said, I’m heading back to the ‘ville next weekend and staying through our friend Cristina’s 28toLife Seminar at MADabolic Cville on Saturday, March 8th.  MADabolic Cville 28 to life

I’ll definitely be pumping this more over the next week.  I think it’s important to share my personal experience and also highlight some of the stories and testimonials that Cristina has shared from clients (who are friends of mine) that have had major transformations.

That (all) being said, bring on the weekend.  I’ve been waiting a long time for it, and it feels so good.