There was a really cool thing for me that happened this week at the gym. Every kid that starts training fills out a form that asks “What do you want to get out of 212?” It’s a good starting point for conversation as to what their specific goals are. One of the kids who started this week put down a couple of standard items: he was looking for good personal training, and while not an athlete himself, wanted to train like one and develop his overall athleticism. But it was actually the first thing he wrote that stuck out to me; he wrote that he wanted to be a part of a “good sense of community” and “grow as a person from being at 212”. When we discussed his responses after his first training session, I was particularly interested to find out exactly what he meant by that. He replied, “Oh I mean I’ve heard from a bunch of kids that its more than just training here, that being here helped them out in their life a lot.” I was blown away. We train athletes, and our business is getting results for them. If kids aren’t getting results, there isn’t a business. As it is, so many of our kids have experienced drastic improvements in strength, throwing velocity, speed, size, etc, and have enjoyed the on-field success and in many cases, the financial blessing of scholarships or signing professional contracts that comes with their hard work. But one of the first things I immediately noticed in transitioning from being a teacher, to a personal trainer, was that there was going to be a lot more to being an effective trainer for kids than simply delivering athletic results. What I quickly noticed was that the wall was down; meaning that as an educator, you certainly develop good relationships with kids, but they’re often hesitant to tell you much of what’s truly going on in their lives out of fear of school punishment. But as a trainer I found kids were very open; and they were looking to me for someone to listen and care about exactly what they were dealing with. Everything from drug addictions to depression to relationship hurts, there has been a lot of long post workout and phone call listening sessions over the years. And while I’m not personally capable of giving kids advice for every situation, as a Christian I can give them biblically based counsel to help encourage and guide them. That a kid I hadn’t spoken to and had never been in our facility for even a day, came in with the goal and expectation that this would be a place he could not just become more athletic, but grow as a young man personally, was awesome to hear. I sincerely hope every athlete I train hits all their athletic goals, and I take very seriously the process of doing everything in my power to deliver the best, most cutting edge and intense training they need to make those goals happen. But long after their athletic lives are over, I hope that along the way they’ve developed a passion for training they continue with that keeps them healthy even into their later years; but more importantly, that the work ethic, the discipline, the confidence, and the maturation they’ve learned along the way turns them into great adult men and women, and that as our newest member hopes for, they grew as a person at 212.