Happy New Year Friends! As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been on a blogging hiatus since Thanksgiving 2016 (the longest stretch of no-posting in gritbybrit history – yikes!). I’m not proud of this as blogging has been my most inspiring creative outlet over the past 4 years. In fact, starting this blog is what pushed to me pursue my ultimate dream – starting my own fitness/wellness company. It would be such a shame to neglect the one thing that gives me so much energy and motivation!
So, I’ve made a resolution to post weekly in 2017 and I commit to myself and to you that I will stick to it. You can expect at least one post per week from me for the entire year – yes that’s 52 posts from yours truly. Since my life has changed so much the past 2 years with the inception of my company, GRIT Fitness, I’ve decided I’m going to shift the focus of this blog to share more behind the scenes coverage of what it’s like running a start-up, innovating new fitness formats, building a brand and leading a team all while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I also plan to share business insights and frameworks that I’ve created to help with time management, goal setting, growing your business and building your brand. Hopefully you’ll enjoy these posts! Please comment and lemme know what you think long the way.
But before I go full speed ahead with my 2017 blogging approach, I first what to take some to time to express gratitude and reflect on the awesome moments I was blessed to experience in 2016. Last year was definitely a period of growth, learning and FUN! Here are the top 10 moments I will cherish forever (in no particular order)…
1. Celebrating 1 year of business at GRIT Fitness
Wow. When I started GRIT Fitness in January of 2015, my only goal was stay alive. But not only are we surviving, we have a growing, vibrant , thriving community of over 2,000 awesome young ladies! Most of the ladies who were my very first members now serve as instructors, community leaders and front desk staff. We kicked off 2016 with a super fun Vino & Vinyasa 1-yr anniversary celebration. It was a blast!
2. Being on TV, twice!
Look mom, I’m on TV! This was so freaking cool and so totally unexpected. Fortunately, 2 members of the GRIT community happened work for Fox 4 and pitched a segment to cover my journey of creating GRIT Fitness. That led to a me sharing my story on Fox 4 “In The Now.” Then a producer at WFAA, Good Morning Texas reached out to us to demo some Dance Club Cardio moves on the show and talk about our fitness community. 2 terrific TV surprises in 2016!
3. Winning the Neiman Marcus Faces of Beauty Contest
This experience was totally surreal. I felt like a beauty queen! 5 women out of 1,000 nominated were selected for this amazing honor based on the impact they’re making on women’s empowerment. Neiman Marcus gave me a styling session, killer new clothes, a box of the most luxurious beauty products, a makeover and photo shoot, an intimate dinner with the company’s executives and a night’s stay a luxury hotel. Simply amazing.
4. Building and opening the GRIT Fitness Flagship Studio (2nd location)
What a journey! After getting rejected by two SBA lenders and from several other landlords (because I hadn’t been in business long enough), I almost gave up hope on expanding GRIT Fitness. But with the support of our community we raised $10K in a crowd funding campaign and I found an awesome small business lender in Austin, TX. After a few months of planning and strategizing, we were blessed to open our 5,000 square foot flagship studio, just 6 months after celebrating our 1 year anniversary.
5. Growing and developing my team at GRIT Fitness to 48 team members!
I started GRIT Fitness with help of 10 fabulous young ladies. 1 was my sister, 3 I met on Craig’s List, 3 were students in my Turbo Kick classes at 24 Hour Fitness and the others were just friends who wanted to support me. Now we are 4 times the size, but the closeness of our relationships remains. What I love about my team is that each girl serves at GRIT because she genuinely LOVES helping people and wants to be her best. And that’s why I feel like we are truly the #DREAMTEAM
6. Sweating and smiling in LA and NYC
I’m such a sweat junkie! This year I traveled to both LA and NYC just to explore the fitness scenes. I called it my “market research” trip as I took 13 classes in 3 days in NYC and 9 classes 3 days in LA. While I was in LA, I also attended the IDEA WORLD Fitness convention for the 3rd consecutive year. I LOVED IT! The learning curve never ends. I also treated myself to a nice hotel and great meals. I definitely like my vacations sweaty!
7. Quality time with my best friends in Seattle, Canada & Dallas
Being a small business owner, it can be challenging to allocate time to just chill and hang out with friends. Especially when most of your best fiends don’t live in your city. Fortunately, my friend Jenn got married in Quebec City so I got to reunite with most of my business school friends during that trip. And then my bestie from business school, Yassi pictured above, traveled to Dallas from South Africa for a work trip and we got to spend the entire weekend catching up, attending holiday parties and sipping mimosas. Last, one of my best friends from undergrad also got married and I got to catch up with all of my Cornell friends at his wedding in Seattle, WA. Quality time with great friends is simply priceless.
8. Finding a new church home at Shoreline Dallas
Before moving back to Dallas, I lived in NYC and I was member of Hillsong church which I absolutely loved (especially the awesome praise and worship music and relaxed culture)! After moving back home to start GRIT Fitness I struggled all year to find a church home that I really connected with. Fortunately my cousin invited to Shoreline’s SHINE Women’s conference and I love the diverse community, high energy and enthusiasm for strengthening our faith.
9. Spending the holidays with my amazing family
I am so grateful for my family. The older I get, the more I appreciate simply spending time with them. The 2016 holiday season was super special because we spent Thanksgiving in Florida hanging out at the beach and watching my bother, Austin, play in his holiday basketball tournament. Then for Christmas we just hung out at my parents’ house, went out to eat for Mexican food, and lazily hung around the house for 2 days. It’s the little things that matter most.
10. Hosting ‘Start Up Yoga’ for Techweek in Dallas
Can we say “GRIT concert”? This was hands down the most extravagant fitness experience I’ve ever been a part of – massive stage, flashing lights, live DJ, amazing venue full of Dallasite’s sweating and smiling. I’m so grateful that my team and I were presented with the opportunity to work with Techweek, one of the largest technology/entrepreneurship conferences in the world!
While I’ve classified these 10 moments as the “most memorable” there were several other “less flashy” moments that were equally meaningful to me. Like hanging out with my sister as “friends” despite our 8 year age gap, finally earning enough profit to write myself my first paycheck, holding hands with all members of my family and praying over the future of GRIT Fitness and my ability to be a good leader. 2016 was such a joy, but I know that the best is yet to come! Here’s to 2017, the greatest year yet. xoxo, Brit