BY: Coach J
Have you ever noticed that when you meet someone new, one of the first questions you ask is, "Where are you from?” Why is that? I think its because until you know where someone came from, what they’ve been through, and how they got to be where they are, its hard to truly know them.
For that reason, I wanted to share the story behind Reviver. A story of two buddies who dreamt a dream about spending their days inside their own gym. Who developed a passion for coaching people to become the best versions of themselves. And who followed that passion even if it meant leaving behind secure lives to move back in with Mom and Dad and risk losing it all…
August 2004 - Jeremy began his 4.5-year career at Western Michigan University where he became workout buddies with Vince. Vince was already a veteran Bronco earning his degree in Physical Education and building biceps so big they ruin t-shirts.
August 2004 - Dec 2008 - J and Vince pretty much worked out 5-6 days per week together. They broke their sessions down by body part and spent 1.5-2.5 hours in the gym each day. Most of that time was spent conversing about how huge they’re going to be one day; and how excited they are to get home and eat. Very rarely was heavy breathing or sweat a part of the routine.
December 2008 - J graduated with a degree in Food Marketing and was preparing for his first job after school. While having some beers with friends, he was invited to partake in a CrossFit workout for the first time. Having not heard of it before and looking to change things up with his training, he obliged. The workout was Fight Gone Bad - it crushed him. Meanwhile, Vince was back in Kalamazoo studying for his master’s and trying out Mixed Martial Arts. After a phone call telling Vince about his experience, J got him to try the workout and the two got hooked on this so called ‘CrossFit’ thing.
January 2009 - July 2009 - J and Vince got their workouts directly from Crossfit.com and performed them individually at the nearby ‘Globo-Gym’. With Vince in Kalamazoo and J in Clawson, they had to communicate solely by phone where they would compare scores and experiences. Like most CrossFitters at this time, they would watch instructional videos for proper form and mechanics, then completely butcher them when they attempted to replicate at the gym.
July / August 2009 - J’s job took him to Bentonville, Arkansas and Vince relocated to Chicago, IL to begin his P.E. career. It was in these respective locations where they found the CrossFit affiliates: CrossFit NWA and Windy City CrossFit.
September 2009 - February 2010 - The honeymoon phase began…Vince and J became absolutely obsessed with their training and new-found communities. The workout days now consisted of 15 mins of work and 45 mins of workout visualization. They would spend hours at the gym just to spend hours talking on the phone about the gym.
February 2010 - June 2010 - Both fellas became certified CrossFit coaches and began coaching members at their respective gyms. J still recalls calling Vince after coaching his first class and saying, “Dude! It was unbelievable - we have to figure out a way to do this every day.”
June 2010 - April 2011 - This period is where J and Vince talked on the phone for 5-10 hours every week planning out their dream of opening their own gym. They made a list of to-dos’ and one at a time started checking things off. Now think for a second - they both have very good paying jobs, train at gyms where they get to coach, and promising careers. Never once did they second guess what they were about to do - it was going to happen, no questions asked.
April 2011 - July 2011 - J’s job relocated him to Cincinnati, OH. That allowed him and Vin to travel home to look for locations for Reviver on the weekends. Once ‘the one’ was discovered, they began applying for lending. After being declined on three occasions, they finally got approved for a line of credit (apparently having two single guys, with no additional income, quit their jobs to open a warehouse gym was not too promising to the banks).
July 2011 - It was official…J and Vin put in their two weeks’ notice to their employers and Vin was on his way home to sign the lease for the space that would change the lives of many. In the car driving to sign the papers, Vince received a phone call from the leasing agent where he was informed they leased the space to someone else that morning. Talk about a kick in the groin! The drama was over quickly as he had a different unit available - the problem was that it was half the size. Vin and J discussed their options and decided to take the smaller space knowing they could expand when needed. It was a blessing in disguise, because looking back, they probably would’ve ran out of money had they took the larger space.
August 2011 - They moved back home to live with their parents, share a car, and begin the creation of CrossFit Reviver. After a couple weeks of prep and buildout, the doors were open for business.
April 2013 - Reviver had out-grown its current space and moved across the parking lot to twice the size. Ironically enough, this was the same size space they were originally going to lease.
June 2017 - Another move was needed - this time they more than doubled their space by relocating to the current location of CrossFit Reviver on Austin Ave. At this point they have met and worked with hundreds of people, grown their staff, and created the life of their dreams. The juice was definitely worth the squeeze!