7 years of owning a successful gym, 5 of which I was diligently working toward a second location, and yet ANOTHER demon knocked me down. He stood over me, & said “NO. You’re not good enough. You don’t have the funding. There is no location within a realm of possibility. Accept failure.” I was sitting on the steps at my house with my husband (Mike), and a wave of frustration & anger washed over me.
When I am convicted & passionate about something, I find any way and every way to make it work (some may call it stubborn). But at this point, a defeatist attitude crept into the positive. I told myself “It’s not this hard for other gyms. Think of all the others that had financial backing & multiple locations within only a few years.” It was then Mike said, “maybe this is God telling you that it’s not in the plan.”
Maybe he’s right, I thought, it’s not what is right for me… Oops, I mean us.
It feels so good to finally confess that. The business, the second location... was about ME.
Don’t get me wrong… The success in Kadi Fit came from motivating and inspiring others to live their best life. We know (practically) everyone by name. Our members raised enough to build a school in rural Kenya, and then traveled there to break ground. My soul is happiest connected to others. BUT, I never connected that to the ability to scale the business. The responsibility, burden, work & resources to grow were what only I could do.
It wasn’t until my friend Duncan Littlefield (of The Littlefield Co.), de-briefed me on his first experience at Kadi Fit --
“from the minute the first beat of music played, & the whole room started clapping on cue, before you (the instructor) took one step.. I could feel it...COMMUNITY pulsing through the room. People preach it, but you guys breathe it”
“Hello! It’s not even about YOU, Katie.” - ME
That’s where BLOC comes from (intentionally removing the “K”) - Building Lifestyle On Community.
I swallowed my pride, and linked arms with my competition, offering free workouts in the city. “kadi in the park.” taught me that by spotlighting other people, the reward reaped by the whole is far more powerful. Relationships over opportunity. (Including: Jamie Eastley, Rob Johnson, Jaimis Huff, Rachel Ferrara, Sydney Cummings, & GetfitwithChrys…).
I co-led with another, rotating, fitness trainer each week, establishing roots & relationships in the Charlotte fitness scene (Kadi is in Lake Norman).
It was a beautiful love story. The homeless in the park knew us by name, and often entertained us while we were keeled over in sweat. We spent our lunch breaks around a table at 7th Street Market, a wild group, of every age, hair color, and day job. Always new strangers stumbling upon us as we sweat in the park overlooking the Charlotte skyline.
As the group grew, so did the connections. As this wasn’t the initial intention of giving something to people for free, it became a wild investment! This crowd provided immense value for building of a BUILDING, with little funding. They SHOWED up. For 4 months we all literally BUILT bloc, by hand. Demolition (that was fun as hell). 35 coats of white paint. Literal laying, nailing, staining of floors. A community table constructed with our bare hands (to continue gathering). A second location would NEVER have happened alone. It wouldn’t have happened with the few who work here. It took a collective of volunteers, asking for nothing but giving everything because they believed in the “why”. I had to learn that no amount of pride, or guilt in asking for help, would get ME anywhere. But, allowing others to unify in purpose together, for something that ultimately was for all of us, was God’s plan.
LET’S HILIGHT A FEW KEY “PLAYERS” WHOS PLAYING BIG DREAMS collided with mine:
at this point, he was an elusive, superhero, leading a team of die-hard avengers at Stax. Intrigued, I asked him to co-lead with me at First Ward Park. The first tip off that we would be friends, was the fact he got the satisfaction of making people ape crawl as much as I did. But the second, most important factor of friendship, was coaching through mindset. He was as intentional, and (arguably) longer-winded in that category than I was. It was at this point that the park was serving as a magnet to others, in search of provoking greater thought and connection, through the acceleration of a sweat.
GREEN BROTHER’S JUICE
fueled both the park & bloc’s construction. Josh and Stephie are an example of two insanely savvy, yet incredibly generous humans. They now sweat with us daily at bloc & serve our neighborhood with wholesome goodness.
was also in their visionary stages at this time. I met with them at 7th Street after a park workout as they pitched the genius idea for their brand. There were obvious benefits on either end of partnering. But, they also happen to be good humans. They painted alongside us, & promoted the opening of the space during the “building of bloc.”
“YOU” (PREVERBAL OR LITERAL)
Whether you hammered a nail at bloc. or not. The story isn’t over. The space was built for you too, the future “us.” We have yet to meet all the “players.”
AN INTENTIONAL CREW WILL ELEVATE YOU. I never want to stop finding you. Whether “YOU” are a homeless person with music advice, or a mother of 2 with a new-found identity in boudoir. We all have something to provide. Whatever you’re doing to “PLAY BIG” that has you sitting on your stairs in a ball of tears, maybe, you just haven’t met the right people. And maybe, just maybe, those people will show up for you in a building at Camp North End.
READY TO BRING A BIG DREAM TO LIFE?
This is a 2 hour experience.
You’ll cast a vision for your best life.
You’ll work through the goal cycle.
You’ll leave with an action plan & network of support.
Sharing is such a powerful way to spark new ideas, so make the most of the brilliant and generous people who surround you.
THE GOAL CYCLE:
Identifying your values
Visualizing your best life
Setting your priorities
Writing your goal
Sticking with it
Detaching from the outcome
a bold experience of movement and mindfulness led by Katie Dixon + Rob Johnson.
(only 50 spots)