• Marcus Kowal

Our 9-year anniversary of Systems Training Center



A few days ago, our gym Systems Training Center, celebrated its 9-year anniversary.

Anyone in entrepreneurship will tell you that there is no such thing as a straight growth line; there will always be curve balls and unexpected happenings. Ours has been overly magnified, however. From the most painful of personal losses to surviving an unforeseeable pandemic in the most expensive, least "business-friendly" state in the U.S., in an industry that was shut down for 15 months.


Two years ago, if you would have asked me where we will be for our 9th anniversary, I wouldn’t have had an answer. It has been a tough two years, to say the least. Yet, here we stand and it’s thanks to a team who was willing to put in blood, sweat, and tears into something we believe so strongly in. Something we know is bringing value to our community; to the world. I wrote the following letter to our members but it's something I think it's something that can help most people, regardless of their geographical location.


Recently, a friend of mine jokingly said, “You have an impressive ability to always get back up on nine.” For those not familiar with the boxing term, you have ten seconds to get back up if you get knocked down. One of the areas that we try to help develop the most in our members is mental toughness; perseverance. Perseverance, no matter what. We love that we have so many people from so many different walks of life represented at our gym. Everyone who comes in has their own reasons and their own story but everyone is growing, every time they come in.


Life will continue to throw you curve balls and force you to endure testing times and it is unfortunately not something that we can prevent but what we can do is help you prepare for those moments, no matter what they are. By training your mental fortitude and overcoming small hurdles every day, you get tougher. So when you encounter a BIG hurdle, you can look within yourself and have the confidence that you can endure and thrive because of all the other times you endured and thrived.


Just over a year ago, we had lost over 60% of our members. Today, we are almost back to where we were before the pandemic and it’s thanks to all of our loyal members. All of those who stuck with us, through thick and thin, and all new faces, who have joined us since. And not only are we back but we are back stronger and more motivated than ever, to continue creating a home away from home for everyone. A place where they feel they can continue to grow and become a better version of themselves. A place where they know that they will be challenged and often pushed to their limits and where they know they will make mistakes but it’s ok, because they know it’s part of the journey.


We are excited about the improvements that will continue to happen this fall, both as far as our facility goes, as well as our instructor and team development. I very much appreciate the trust put in us when it comes to our members' martial arts, health, and growth journey and it is a responsibility we don’t take it lightly. Just as we ask them to continue to grow, so shall we. We can’t promise that we have all the answers but it’s my promise to them, as well as to myself and our team; we will continue to seek them.


My one piece of advice is to keep training hard, keep growing and keep getting up on nine, no matter what.


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