Chapter 20: A Little Bit of Everything

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It was a lazy Saturday afternoon and I was playing ball with Duane and some of my other boys at one of the outdoor courts. The weather was in the high 50s and felt good against my skin as I ran up and down the concrete court. Being the only white guy, I was often challenged on my skills. Luckily, I had run in enough pick-up games to know how it went and most of the people playing against me knew I had game.

Me and Duane had played AAU together for so long growing up that we knew each other's game like the back of our hands. I knew where he wanted the ball and he knew when to get it to me. After we finished playing three pick-up games, we walked to the nearby Subway shop and got something to eat.

"So, you're really opening up this gym with Claudia?" He asked before taking a bite of his Italian meatball sub.

"I'm thinking about it," I said after I finished chewing on my veggie delight sub.

"Do you think it's a good idea going into business with somebody you still fuckin?"

"We haven't been messing around for a few months now. She's serious about doing this so we agreed that we had to cut that part off before I would even consider it."

"Are you going to franchise with her and everything?"

"Naw, I'm keeping that separate," I told him. "I came up with a counter idea that I presented to her. This gym will be all hers, but I'm going to help her get it off the ground. I agreed to a one-year contract and she's going to pay me as a head trainer. I'll be making more than what I am now at Oxygen. I will have voting say in all of the operations in the first-year and then after that I have an option to come on as a full partner or walk away."

"Okay, so you're not tying up any of your own resources?" He asked. I shook my head no. "And if it doesn't work you only committed to a year?" I gestured that he understood it correctly. "That's smart."

"I'll keep saving money for my own gym while seeing the entire process first hand doing this with her," I explained.

"When do you plan to open your first one?"

"I see that happening in two to three years," I said. I believed I would have enough money saved up and enough knowledge and experience to do everything the right way and in the big way I wanted to do it. I wanted to open five locations at the same time- Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Columbia, and Virginia Beach. I wanted to start with them and then branch out each year to add new locations in which trainers could franchise through my gym. I chose those first five give locations because they were close to me, I knew the areas and could be hands on until all five started succeeding. "You still have a chance to do this with me," I added.

"Like I told you, I already have my lifelong job and I am very happy with making other people happy," he said with a smile raising up his water bottle. "You do it your way and I do it mine."

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