Starting from Scratch

I remember this era of my life. Mike Gray challenged me to leave my successful and comfy personal training business behind to go after something bigger and join the UFC GYM franchise family as a trainer and maybe more. He said…

“it’s easy to be the top dog in the gym when everyone else around you is mediocre.”

This statement haunted me.

He even took Tamara Le and I out to dinner and laid it out there for us to talk it over. At one point at dinner, he said, “there may be a chance you might just eat instant noodles for a minute.”

“Bigger” wasn’t the word to describe what I experienced right out the gate. As a matter of fact, I struggled pretty early on. I handed off my clients to start from ground zero in a space I was absolutely unfamiliar with for a company that was literally the Wild West.

It got rough for a minute in that first month where I even broke down into tears because I had trouble building my clientele. I got worried that I had made the wrong choice.

But after that first month of getting my face drug through the asphalt, I had an epiphany.

“Don’t you know who I am?! I’m Kevin Le!”

Was what I heard driving to work and a flood of confidence, courage, boldness and rage came over me. I woke up out of that fog and showed up to meet with a potential client and landed it.

From that point, there was no turning back. Within the year, I became the highest grossing personal trainer in the 149+ clubs in all of the US. I broke records, came up with ways to train clients better and more more efficiently, brought small group training when it wasn’t an approved option for the company, trained and developed a new generation of passionate fitness professionals and contended against the best trainer in the company, Jeff Morgan.

I was in my element again.

It was a dogfight to get to the top and I embraced every moment of it. I was the first one in the gym and 5am and the last one out, sometimes at 11pm only to do it all over again, 5-6 days a week. I found gaps in the system, problems that needed solving, people that needed my help and ultimately built out a clientele that made my job an absolute dream.

In this picture, however. I didn’t win trainer of the year and it was a tough moment for me. I worked my ass off to get it but it didn’t play out the way I hoped. But it was definitely the thing I needed to reset, recalibrate and push forward to bigger and better.

I quickly became the top fitness director, and eventually a general manager and even had opportunities to be in roles I never imagined and met people who ultimately helped me become a better version of myself.

I stayed with UFC Gym for 3 years and it was the three years I needed to teach me this:

  • Yes. You can start over.
  • Yes. Life will get scary for a minute.
  • Yes. You’re even going to break down, cry and question your decisions in life.
  • Yes. You might eat instant noodles.
  • Yes. You’re going to have to work your butt off, harder than you ever imagined. Break a lot of rules, get into a lot of trouble, crush a ton of goals, only to hit the reset button at the beginning of the next month and have everyone forget what you just did the previous month.
  • Yes. You’re going to find yourself on your knees praying harder and harder everyday because life gets so crazy that you don’t know when you’re going to break down again.
  • Yes. God will hear your prayers and answer them… maybe not in the way you want, but definitely in the way you need.
  • Yes. You’re going to gain wisdom and experience that’s going to carry you into the next big move in your life… when you decide to give it all up and start from scratch.

You can do this.