Thanks for the Memories
20 years ago I graduated from Muhlenberg College with the goal of creating a sports performance facility. Sports have played a vital role in my life and enabled me to become the first person in my family to attend college, become an All-American football player, and create a forum to help young people fulfill their dreams. I was able to create arguably the top performance center in the Lehigh Valley and work with some of the regions top athletes for 20 years. These athletes include Dan Persa, Kevin White, Devin Street, Justin Gaymon, and thousands of other athletes who wanted to maximize their performance on and off the field.
I had another goal that took a back seat while I built FASST Performance. I wanted to become a D1 strength coach. During the winter of 2018 my family and I decided it was time to pursue this goal. I sent out several emails to some of the top strength coaches in the country and explained my goal. I heard plenty of no’s until I received a response from TO at the University of Alabama that would forever change my life. He said that they had a spot for me over the summer and would love to have me.
Not too many 41 year old men get the opportunity to work with the reigning national champions so my wife and I both agreed that I needed to go. So I packed up my bags, found a temporary living arrangement, and ventured into the unknown. I felt like a young college student who was hoping to make a lasting impression at their first job interview but this time it was much different because I had already built a successful life by most standards. I didn’t know anybody and was walking into one of the top college programs in the country as an unknown. Starting from scratch and leaving everyone and everything I knew behind, my journey began. My comfortable existence would be a thing of the past and I had no clue what was in store or what the future would hold. All I knew was that I was getting an opportunity of a lifetime and had to make every second, minute, hour, and day count. Little did I know that these days, would turn into, weeks, months, and eventually an entire year away form the most important people in my life. My family.
My first intention was to go to the University of Alabama and learn from some of the best strength coaches in the country. Little did I know that the summer would turn into the season, the season would turn into the off-season, and eventually an assistant football strength and conditioning position at Louisiana Tech. I have always been a business owner and head guy so it was a huge change not being in command. It allowed me to take a step back and evaluate what I had done for so many years, see other highly successful coaches operate, and work with young coaches who were in similar situations as me. It was a very enlightening experience and one that has really made a significant impact on how I will operate moving forward.
During this time I was able to work with some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the country while managing my training facility over 1200 miles away. The coaches were amazed to see how much I was able to accomplish and not miss a beat. To say it was daunting is an understatement. If anyone has ever worked at the FBS level, they understand the demands and the hours required to build a championship program. Along with the stressors involved with the job, I missed my family, and had to make sure I was able to operate my business, have fresh ideas, and have my coaches back home operating my day to day operations. During this time I have learned a lot about my family, the people I worked with at home as well as on the road, and most importantly, myself. I have never been one to do things part way and when I see something I want, I go out and get it.
I knew that I wanted to sell my training facility and go all in at the collegiate level and that time has come. I remember when I was a young coach and how passionate I was about getting a chance to reach my goals. I have come full circle and I am excited to announce that Erik Long will bring his passion to our 70 Hilton St. address and offer his Elevate Fitness and Performance Center. Erik is much like myself 20 years ago and brings a desire to bring out the best in others. The timing was perfect and I will be transitioning out of the business. Erik brings an extensive training background and will continue to offer our clients premium training programs. This has been an ideal situation for both of us and we are excited to see Erik take the facility to another level!
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me build a great business and has supported my family and I for the past 20 years. It has been an unbelievable experience seeing our athletes get drafted into the NFL, MLB, and have success on the international level in track and field. It has been an awesome ride and my family and I are excited to see what the future holds for all of us. Thanks for all the support and good luck. Remember that if you want something bad enough, all you need to do is take the first step. The first step is the hardest but once you take it, it is difficult to stop. Success is only missed by those who don’t try and we have built our reputation on effort. Give life everything you got! When you do, you’ll be glad you did!!!! Let’s goooooooo!!!!