Pandemic Blackjack

After returning from a quick trip to Las Vegas in celebration of my wife’s birthday, and as July 1st approaches, I’m starting to think about how the past 15 months have played out. I definitely enjoy gambling occasionally and though I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘big gambler’ – I noticed that there are a few similarities to how a typical blackjack session might play out at the casino.

When I met with you all over a year ago we talked about my plan. You all knew what the situation was and what my intentions were. It was all of our first pandemic and the beginning of something none of us could have ever expected. Over a year later, our plan is beginning to take shape. 

I didn’t know how everything was going to work out, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted something bigger and better. I put all my cards (and money) on the table for all of you to see.

Kind of like a big hand of blackjack…And all of you doubled down

You all kept paying for your gym membership. Without a gym. You kept paying for coaching you couldn’t receive, community you couldn’t lean on and friends you weren’t able to see. Zoom happy hours were okay, and the additional Instagram posts helped, as well as the borrowing of equipment and the occasional ‘meet up’. But for the most part your gym was gone. 
Instead of paying for your traditional ‘CrossFit’ membership. You found value elsewhere. You found it in staying connected and remaining engaged. Some of you adjusted easily to the new offering of online coaching. And some of you simply made do with what you had using our other online tools such as SugarWOD. Many of you took time to work on some weaknesses using your own equipment and some of you stayed active doing any number of things like paddle boarding, bike riding or even yard work! 

I know all of this because I called or texted all of you almost every week. 

Nobody wants to hit on 16 (It’s nerve racking) Just like nobody wants to work out in a parking lot with the sun in their eyes. But you did. And over time, it got a bit easier. (You should always hit your 16’s BTW 😉)
And then you kept on digging into your pocket. Not always advisable at the blackjack tables – but in some cases it makes sense. 

Digging makes sense when the odds are in your favor and you’re at the table with likeminded players. It makes sense when you’re having fun with your friends. It makes sense when you know how much fun you’ll have in celebration after the big win. 
Thanks to each and every one of you for gambling on me. The gamble you took spending $200 for intro sessions in a bumpy parking lot on a hot rubber mat. The risky act of giving your credit card number to a guy you only met a few times and the huge leap of faith in thinking that we may come out on the other end of this thing ‘ahead’. 

I told you I wanted to give you a bigger gym. That we wanted to implement a kids program as well as a nutrition program. That we would look to improve technology, marketing, invest in equipment and other amenities. I told you that I wanted to have something you all could be proud of when this whole thing was over with. The plan was to have St. Clair Shores CrossFit emerge as a leader in the industry.
As most of you now know. ALL of these exciting things are now happening. My pie in the sky dreams of March 2020 are all 2021 active projects. 
So we’re now coming to the end of our blackjack ‘shoe’. In most blackjack shoes there are 7 decks of cards. Over the course of those 7 decks you’ll have ups and downs. But at the end of the shoe your success/failure will begin to come into focus. In the last few hands, the fact that you won or lost has for the most part already been determined. The outcome is almost inevitable.  And how you played your cards for the first 6 decks is much more of a predictor than the last few hands.

In the blackjack shoe that has been this pandemic, we’ve lost some very big hands. But we’ve also had some tremendous wins. Definitely more wins than losses and there’s still a few more hands to play. Some of you reading this may think my strategy was irresponsible, bad business or that I should’ve had more of a well thought out plan.

The thing is. I did have a plan. 
I simply planned on getting LUCKY! That was it. 

So there it is. My entire pandemic strategy laid out for all of you to see. Though I planned on getting lucky I was also prepared to lose. I was prepared to look all of you in the eye and tell you it didn’t work out. 
But it is working out. Not only because of our fiercely loyal members that have been here since the beginning. But because so many of you decided to take a huge gamble on some guy you didn’t even really know, all in the name of your health. 
Thanks again to all of you. Our trainers, members and OG’s (original gamblers). We’re not at the buffet just yet but we’re definitely hungry and looking forward to the prime rib. 

It was a high stakes play but because of all of you, it was almost as if I was counting cards. 

Maybe we got lucky. Or maybe our community was the ‘stacked deck’ that we needed to get through this. 


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