I’m starting an annual tradition of writing an end of year letter as a way to say thank you, recap our year, and discuss our plans and what’s important to us as we head into the new one. As we embark on 2022, I know we all (still) feel some uncertainty as Omicron spreads through the community. I remember thinking back to this same time last year when we were training outside and feeling a similar uncertainty, but I’m thankful this year we’ve been able to get back to doing what we love indoors and helping all of you get stronger over the past year. Whatever happens, I know our community is strong and that we’ve all been through incredibly hard moments over the past two years, and I take comfort knowing we can all make it through any future hard moments as well.
This past year we have accomplished a lot. We onboarded well over 100 new members into our community. We brought onboard 3 new coaches. We launched our Lifelong Nutrition program. We started training student athletes with our Youth Athletics program. We trained for and ran our first Spartan Race. We launched SSP+ and SSPAway. On top of all this, we continued to navigate the fast-evolving changes related to COVID.
I tell our team often that we are still a start-up, and we’ll continue to think of new ideas, test, and learn from them. My wife, Nicole, often reads our newsletters and comments about all of the things we are accomplishing with such a small team. It’s true. We move fast and iterate often. It’s been a whirlwind, and I want to acknowledge the team for their incredible dedication and willingness to try new things. It’s not always easy.
Speaking of hiring, this is and will continue to be an important and critical part of the business. My approach to hiring is to find individuals who (a) fit with the culture of SSP, and (b) have a thirst and drive to continually get better. I want people who identify with the core values of SSP and take pride in the culture and community we create. Our full-time people wear multiple hats, which is uncommon for a gym, but in my mind, necessary for that feeling of ownership and connection to the community beyond coaching. That said, I feel privileged every day to be a part of our team.
I recently had a member ask me “Chris, why is everyone so strong in this gym?” Questions like these always bring a smile to my face, and the answer lies in our programming. We put a tremendous amount of meticulous thought and care into our programs. Exercise is a science. To get stronger requires you be consistent and follow that science. We pride ourselves in knowing everyone’s capabilities, injuries, and current strength at SSP. You’ll see this in both our approach to personal training and in classes. I joke that when we first opened, I had to quickly purchase and double up on our dumbbells from 10-20#. Now many of you who have been with us awhile are using the 40-50# dumbbells (and more!). What a great problem to have. J
We also updated our core values here at SSP which I took great pride in. These are a reflection of the past 16 months of being a business and all of the learnings therein. These six values will be ever-evolving, but at present, represent for us what matters most and why we continue doing what we do. If you haven’t read them, please feel free to at seattlesp.com/corevalues.
On behalf of our team, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for choosing to spend time with us, for allowing us to be a second home for you, and for many of you, your families as well. We do not take this lightly, and we value everyone that comes into train. You are like family to us. Our belief in what we do has not wavered, and we will continue to push forward into 2022 with big ambitions.
Happy holidays and all the best,