Walking into work at 24 hour fitness you would think the busy bees and bright lights never shut off for closing. It was an ongoing coffee break without the break. I looked out to a sea of money through the window my desk sat by everyday, a desk crushed next to many other desks like bunk beds full of sales people...wait no, sales friends, while people and cars past by. Grumpy elf is what we called him, grumpy in a good way I should add, a funny "ok ok boss man I will get back to work and stop playing table football" way. I should also add even though I got yelled at for messing around with the triangle piece of folded paper, grumpy elf was the one playing with me! I think it's because I was winning that made him snap out of fun time and back into work time. The best boss, leader, friend, and all around person that I have ever met, Greg Husten. Thank you Greg for hiring me and taking me under your wing when I needed one so very badly. Thank you for everything you have taught me in sales and in life. I looked up to you then, and I still do now.
Greg Husten aka the boss man
Charles Shipman, yes you might know this name; he is a weightlifter, and my best friend. Charles's first day at 24 was my second day, and we hit it off right away. Beat boxing and free-styling was not unusual. Actually, we sold more memberships after a good rap battle. Nice cloths, gelled hair, coffee in hand, and the world at our feet. We were membership salesmen and we were damn good at what we did. Well.....Charles was, I was too busy watching Shankle videos on my phone at a time before I ever met Donny, or became part of the Cal Strength Mafia. Wow.....just thinking about the 24 hour fitness days seems like a lifetime ago, but then again I can remember everything so clearly. I was a firecracker back then, keep in mind this was right when I first became a weightlifter. If you think I am crazy and wild now, then you should of seen "Jumping Jonathan North" back then.
It was never about the commission, it was about beating Charles and Greg in sales. When a client walked in it was all business, the gym changed into a white house meeting. All three of us concentrating on our sale in front of us, but always with one eye cocked to the side seeing how Greg, Charles and any other rookie (not apart of the cool crew) was doing. Either high fives at the end or throwing of a pen or clip board. Sales was a lot like weightlifting, a bitch. But at often times a high that kept you coming back for more. I have smoked meth, and done my fare share of coke back in my party days, and I will be the first person to tell you that making a big lift or landing a membership sale is the exact same high. Having my boss Greg tell me "good job" made my day, and only made me want to sell more. I loved Greg's style of leading, very much the same style as my coach Glenn Pendlay. They let me breath, they lead from behind, and they both let me create my own style of training or selling. A leader who leads from behind has always pushed me more, and made me want to achieve the goal at hand, not only for myself but for them as well. Working with Greg and Charles was a lot like training with my weightlifting teammates now; there is very little difference the more I think about it. A lifestyle full of goals and hard work, intertwined with a healthy dose of laughter and fun, which in my opinion is the key for success in anything.
A statue of a strong buff man holding the world over his head some how climbed itself onto Greg's desk. I think it was a sales award he won, and a well deserved one at that. Greg was magic when it came to selling. Greg is not the type to go showing off, but one morning the statue was just there, sitting on his desk for all to see. Lol, just writing this blog is hard because I am already laughing so hard from the image I see in my head. I see Greg sitting there, typing at his desk with his long chin stuck out as he types so relaxed and confidently. I walk in a few minutes late like I have been known for still to this day. He does not stop typing, but his eyes look over to the side giving me the "your late look". I sit down at my desk scrambling to begin my work day trying to show him that I have a "busy" day ahead, even though we both know that's a lie. He finally stopped typing, and this time his whole head turned with his eyes along for the ride, he said, "glad you could join us today Jon boy". It was so hard to keep a straight face with Charles at his desk quietly laughing at the situation. Before I even gave him an excuse or told him, "sorry it want happen again" line, I looked at his overly big and bright statue and without thinking replied, "hey look, statue looks like me". LOL!!!!!! I slightly laughed while looking back and forth from the statue to Greg, waiting to see his reaction. But there was none, he just stared at me for a good minute until he slowly turned back to his computer screen and began typing again. I looked over to see Charles's reaction, and yes, Charles was almost on the floor laughing.
Ever since that morning anytime anybody would walk by Greg's desk, he would say very loudly and cartoon like "Ooooo yea, statue looks like you". And then he would come back into himself and under his breath say, "God dude, get over it," The best part about this was that the people Greg joked with never said anything about the statue, or even knew about the inside joke in the first place! The poor guy would just walk away scratching his head. LOL!!!!! I am dying laughing, and if you don't think this is funny that I am sorry, I guess you just had to be there, or I am not writing this correctly. At the end of the day Greg would crack a small smile and tell a joke, letting you know that deep down he was just messing around.
After a year went by we all got broken up and went our own ways, but we all still stay in touch, and are very good friends to this day.
24 Hour Fitness 2016