The Plan, The Shock, The Struggle and Moving Forward
The Video below shows the before and after of our new facility. I felt the Story behind how this came about needed to be told so people can understand that things don’t always go to plan, but if you want something bad enough and work hard for it. It will happen.
June 2018, I sat with my landlords to discuss taking another 5-year lease on our building. After some rent negations we settled on terms, shook hands and I went back to FSM and started planning or future and the revamp of the facility.
In the five years since we took the original lease the only contact with my landlords was by email or phone calls. So, on the 30th of September I was shocked to find one of my landlords knocking on my office door. Within 2 minutes he had told me that he will not be renewing our lease, and I will need to be out of Unit 3 by January 1st. Enough notice to the day as legally required.
I will honestly admit I shut down for about a week and wanted to crawl into a hole and forget everything. Many thoughts went through my head
- Will I try to fight this?
- What about the members?
- What about the staff?
- Will I get a new place in Bray?
- Will I have to shut down FSM?
With many darker thoughts running around my head, more crap was happening. Rumours about FSM and us closing, we where broke (just to be clear, we were not). The wolves were at the door waiting to get the real story and what I would have consider friends or people with integrity turned their backs even after I went out of my way to help them when they were in need.
It was crazy to the point that in the 2 weeks of people finding out, I got two job offers to run different gyms. A nice offer and one I considered for a day. But what about the members and the coaches? I built FSM up from nothing and went through hard times but always new it was going to work.
After speaking with Susan, she told me to do what feels right and everything will take care of itself. This is hard to hear when you are lost in so many thoughts. But she was right.
After 2 months things had not improved and the only option’s where to move out of Bray or close FSM and figure out what to do next. The only buildings to let in bray where offices and the rent was to high for FSM to pay.
I honestly thought I needed to make the decision to move out of Bray resulting in a huge membership drop.
I was asked to check out the Old Bacon Factory across the road. I was reluctant as it clearly stated on the ad that it was a fully kitted out meat factory.
With nothing to lose I went over to have a look and what we walked into was nuts. It was literally like they just closed the doors. Cups still in the sink and stuff in lockers (Zombie apocalypse stuff)
I must have gone and had a look at it 6 times before I said let’s try make it work. As you will see from the video it was hard to imagine what the place could look like.
With out boring you with the back and forth of lease, estate agents and council we made an offer and got a better deal than I ever expected (cheers Ross)
It was January first and I had no lease and was required to leave UNIT 3. Thank god for the landlord having issues with the new buyer I got another month at unit 3. We finally got to begin work on the 7th and the plan was simple. Gut the building to and empty shell and have the basics of the gym ready for use in 4-5 weeks without effecting the daily class and members.
On the second week I get a call from the builders. We have a problem………. Turned out the simple job of gutting the building wont work. We need to take out 2/3 of the upstairs and what was found behind the wall was steel and brick walls.
After sitting with the builders, we realised that the job would cost more than expected and the time for completion would require me to get another month at unit 3. STRESS LEVELS PEAKING!!!!
I managed to get that and after a lot of hard work from the team and finding the money to pay for the work, we only had to close FSM for 3 days.
We opened our new home on a Monday and have gone from strength to strength adding more and more to the build each month. The goal was to have FSM open, ready for class and clean. We achieved this and could not be prouder.
I need to thank everyone that helped to make this happen, from the builders, trades men and the members that took time out from the lives to help clean, paint and work on getting FSM open. To everyone that told me “things would work out” Thank you! I truly am blessed to know so many amazing people and I will be forever grateful for their help.
Now we begin Phase two and starting planning on making FSM the standout training facility in Bray/Wicklow area and begin the renovations of our 2 new studios upstairs.
Everything worth having is worth fighting for. FSM and our members are worth fighting for.
TO THE NEXT 10 YEARS!