Updated: Dec 14, 2021
It's been a year since I left Camp Gladiator and struck out on my own.
When my husband and I moved to Austin 6 years ago I knew I wanted to start my own fitness brand. I also knew that I needed to figure out what that meant. My first job in Austin was with Camp Gladiator. For 5.5 years, I'd worked to build a successful business with them and had some amazing opportunities along the way.
I learned so much from working with Camp Gladiator about running a business and getting my name out there. I was given the opportunity to be a speaker at their winter and summer conferences numerous times. As you can probably guess, I spoke mostly on running/sprinting philosophies in the bootcamp setting. It was an amazing way to keep me in the running loop while working for a company that really had nothing to do with running. For those who don't know Camp Gladiator is a bootcamp fitness company whose clientele is the average human.
Nearly half the books I own are running related textbook like publications on the anatomy and physiology of running and strength needed to build sprinters and runners alike. I used to spend HOURS thumbing through these texts to prepare for my presentations to the trainers who would come to my breakouts to learn. It was an amazing opportunity that I'll never forget!
Camp Gladiator taught me so much. I learned how to organize massive events while juggling the hours and work that comes along with training over 125 athletes on a weekly basis.
My second year as a trainer I was named the CGGames (their national fitness competition) Director for all of Austin. This was a new challenge that brought me so much joy, frustration and pride. I never knew how much I enjoyed being an event planner until I was given the opportunity to do it on such a massive scale. My third year as CGGames Director for Austin, we were named the #1 fitness competition in Austin by Austin Fit Magazine!
I had so much going for me with Camp Gladiator. I was working my way up the ladder and I'd helped create new leadership positions in the company. CGGames Director? Wasn't a real title or paid position until my second year as CGGames DRI (Directly Responsible Individual). I was invited to a meeting with the CEO's and some other trainers who were passionate about CGGames to discuss how we could make the event better. We wanted to put CGGames on the map! My big push was to make the CGGames DRI position a REAL leadership role that got paid to do the job. To put CGGames on the map we were going to need new leadership roles in the company.
My time with CG was (mostly) an amazing experience. Every corporate company has their areas of weakness in leadership and protocols. But ultimately, the decision to close the door on that chapter of my life came from my desire to build my own dreams instead of someone else's. I'd been dreaming about this since the day I decided I wanted to become a coach back in High School.
It wasn't a hard decision at all. I knew I could build a fitness company because I had already done it! Just with someone else's logo attached to it and guidance from some amazing mentors. It wasn't scary either. I knew what to expect. Financially, mentally, emotionally. I felt prepared. I knew it was going to be hard work, but that's all it is. Hard work. That's easy. I know how to do that!
To be honest, the difficulty of building my own thing has been very similar. In many ways, it's actually been easier. That's not to say that the hard work, the late nights, long days and stress isn't there. Because believe me IT IS! But it's a dream that is becoming a reality. A dream that I've had for a very long time. So the decisions, hours and grind needed to make So Fit Sonya, LLC real could never be easier.
When you want something Team, when you really want something, the choices you need to make to get there are clear as day.
2021 has FLOWN by. I've had my head high with my eyes always on the horizon. The hardest part of this first year has been two things. First, dealing with the naysayers. The people in my life who really care for me but don't see my vision or understand what I'm building. Their doubts comes from a loving and caring place so I never take it personal but it's difficult hearing them tell me, "Sonya, I don't think that will work. It seems reckless." The best way to start doubting yourself is to take the doubt of others personal. They offer this because what you're doing sounds scary or unrealistic to them.
Now I definitely have people in my life who I confide in. A select group of entrepreneurial friends who I run ideas and decisions by because they'll be honest with me and tell me if something I'm trying to do hasn't been well planned. We all need a sounding board in our lives.
The second hardest thing about this year has been being on my own. Not having people to work alongside, to push me when I just don't want to get up and to celebrate the wins and milestones of growth together.
But I know that I'm not truly alone. I have my athletes. All of you who are reading this! You help me to celebrate the good and you give me a reason to keep at it. Becauses without all of you, there would be no point to producing content and training runners. You keep me going, Team, and I'm so grateful to have you in my corner!
It's been a wild ride this first year doing my own thing. I've launched a virtual running program, Delta Performance, and I never imagined I would be training athletes all over the U.S.A. via video calls and through an app. It's been amazing to watch Team Delta grow and come together. Just wait Team! This year is going to be even better than the last! I've got some BIG things planned for Delta Performance.
I started a monthly podcast where I interview the everyday athlete. The athletes who aren't pro's but who are doing pro level shit while also juggling LIFE! The athletes who are having babies, climbing the corporate ladder or building their own empires all the while finding the energy to challenge themselves physically and mentally on the track. CLICK HERE to check out the 3 episodes I have produced so far!
I was named the #1 Best Running Coach in Austin Fit Magazine! I wanted to cry when I saw that! THANK YOU! You all voted for me and I couldn't be more stunned and honored to have that title.
I say all of this because sometimes we need to look back on the year to realize... wow... I have been hustling and it's paying off! It really hit me seeing my flashback on Facebook the other day. I have done a lot this year and I couldn't be happier with all that 2021 has brought me.
I encourage all of you to do the same! Take a look back on all that you've done in 2021. You may surprise yourself! And if you end up saying, "Dang... I wish I'd done this or that instead." Then what are you waiting for? 2022 is the year to make it happen. There's no point in waiting.
Thanks for being with me every step of the way Team! I literally couldn't do this without all of you! You're my rock when the times get tough. You're my reasons why!
Let's take 2022 by storm and make it the best year yet!