"Time flies when you're having fun"
As we put the finishing touches on our plans to celebrate our seventh birthday here at Wolfhound Fitness - it's nice to take some time to reflect on our time (so far) in Lough Sheever and recall so many great memories and experiences we've shared with members along the way and also reflect on the challenges and issues that popped up from time to time.
We opened Wolfhound Fitness at the tender age of 26 - we were fearless and felt like we had nothing to loose - because, the reality is - we had nothing to loose. All we had to our name was an '07 Volkswagen golf and the savings we had worked hard to build over the years previously.
We wrote our business plan, prepared our cashflow projections, crossed our 't's and dotted our 'i's and confidently headed to the bank to take out our first business loan to help get this show on the road!
As we sat in front of a commercial business manager, passionately sharing our vision, our dreams and our plans for 'Wolfhound Fitness' - we were met with an unenthusiastic and somewhat dismissive response - 'market too competitive', 'not enough experience', 'unrealistic workload for two people' - along with other criticisms of our plans - we left feeling deflated and pretty heart-broken.
Reflecting on this now, it is easy to see why so many people never enter the world of self-employment - the lack of support is beyond frustrating, the fear of 'going it alone' is compounded by countless barriers, obstacles & negative perceptions.
This is why it is so critical to have a clear mission & vision for any goals you set in life - regularly reminding ourselves 'why' you wanted to do this in the first place!
We remained calm(ish), determined and didn't allow these setbacks to deter us or diminish our enthusiasm - we dusted ourselves off & eventually secured the support and backing we needed to get things moving once again.
With incredible levels of support, well-wishes & belief we found our home at Unit 27 Lough Sheever Corporate park - got the keys in May 2016 and the work began in earnest....
"Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will"
We spent every spare hour we had available to us knocking walls, cleaning floors, painting walls, planning layouts and getting general operations in order - with the goal of opening Wolfhound Fitness for the Summer months in 2016.
On the 26th of June - we tentatively opened our doors & welcomed our very first group to train with us - Crookedwood hurlers - followed then by 3 days of free trials!
It's so fulfilling to look back on these sessions and see so many faces who signed up for a 'trial session' all those years ago & remain an integral part of the Wolfhound Fitness community today.
It's show time!
Once we had our equipment installed, trial classes completed, booking systems set up and timetables drafted - all that was left to do was make a start.
We officially began 'trading' on the 4th of July 2016.
I'd love nothing more than to say we absolutely hit the ground running, nailed every strategy and made no mistakes along the way - but that's not the reality of starting something new - mistakes are inevitable, challenges are essential for growth and failure is a part of business - it's a part of life.
There were plenty of classes where no one showed up
Lot's of people did one drop in class and never came back
We worked 60 hours + a week for 18 months without taking a wage
At the time, we didn't realise it but we were creating a false economy - building an unsustainable business that was bringing us closer to 'burnout' by the day.
Looking back now, I'm not sure if we were just unaware of the issues we were creating, afraid to 'rock the boat' or if we were happier burying our heads in the sand, but either way - it was the Covid-19 pandemic was the catalyst that forced us to reassess what we were doing, how we were going to make this business more sustainable and perhaps most importantly, how we could look after our personal health & energy levels - which were dangerously low at this stage - we had worked for almost 4 years and had only taken three weeks holidays.....
Once upon a time, this would be considered a badge of honour - a nod to the hustle and grind of self-employment. Now it just makes me a little sad & frustrated that we placed such little value on our own health & wellbeing for so long.
In many ways we view our post-covid re-opening, our upstairs extension & growth of our coaching team as a new chapter;
A new chapter, within the same exciting book
Our team, our facility, our experience & our priorities evolved and we were finally able to begin feeling excited for the future of Wolfhound Fitness once again.
So as we step into our seventh year, we will continue to remind ourselves of these valuable lessons we have learned over the years and use our experience to shape, guide & develop our future plans & continue to support and mentor our members to the very best of our ability long into the future!
Quality over quantity
Promoting & prioritising physical and mental wellness for ourselves, our team and
We can find so much value in reflection and revisiting past lessons - but we also want to keep looking ahead! And now we are looking ahead to our seventh year in Wolfhound Fitness - which we think deserves a little celebration.....
We hope you can join us on the 7/7/23 to help us mark the occasion and celebrate together!
We will be hosting a partner workout from 4-7pm, followed by BBQ and entertainment - sign up sheets are in the gym or you can click on the link below to register your team:
We will have donation buckets here on the day with 100% of proceeds being donated to 'A Lust For Life' - schools programme