Some of you may or may not know how or why I started Figarelle’s Fitness back in 2006. The following is an explanation of my vision.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t do a single pull-up and I couldn’t climb a rope. I couldn’t run fast, or for very long. I lacked serious confidence and I didn’t like being uncomfortable, even if it meant the possibility of success awaited me on the other side.

I was a painfully shy kid who didn’t like meeting new people or speaking in public. I cried easily and missed my mom when I went to school. Hell, I missed my stuffed animals whenever I left the house and begged my mom to home school me so I wouldn’t have to spend 15 minutes kissing them goodbye every morning before I left. Needless to say, I was weird. But throughout all of that awkwardness, I just wanted to do my own thing.

I wanted to be able to use my imagination and create things MY way.

I knew that I was different, but there was something about my eccentricity that helped me trust myself more and the rest of the world less. I figured out at a young age that in order to be happy, I had to be strong and self-sufficient.

Me, climbing a rope!

Me, climbing a rope!

As far as pull-ups went, I was always taught that girls didn’t have to do them in school. The boys had to do them, and the girls could get a passing grade by doing a “dead hang” for 15 seconds. Really? At 8 years old, there aren’t many differences between girls and boys. Their bodies are essentially the same. The difference is in how they’re treated. How they’re treated will determine what they learn and how they think and feel about themselves. This stays with a kid as they grow up and becomes just another self-limiting belief they carry into adulthood.

Climbing a rope during gym class was another thing I told myself I didn’t have to do. Not every kid could do it, so why should I pressure myself? I was too lazy to be that aspirational. But as I walked out of gym class one day, I looked back into the brightly lit gymnasium and craned my neck all the way up to look at the ceiling where the rope was suspended and I thought, “one day.”

Something in me had shifted.

Not many people get to experience the exhilaration of climbing a 1.5 in. thick rope, 15 feet above the ground- driven by their own strength and determination. You don’t climb stairs to get there, and you don’t get to step up on a ladder to reach the top. You have to use your mind and your body. Strength and confidence were two things that I was beginning to realize I desperately wanted.

Over time I became more and more aware of my limitations and I felt an overwhelming urge to improve on the things I wasn’t very good at. I knew that I was shy and I didn’t like it. I knew that I was physically inferior to my peers and I didn’t like that either. Being self-conscious is a funny thing. You’re constantly obsessing about yourself, so it gives you a lot of opportunity to go inward and be constructively critical.

The recognition of my inabilities fueled by a little anger is what motivated me to do better. 

Ultimately, I made the decision to figure out how to do a pull-up, run longer than 5 minutes without hating life, and to climb a rope all the way to the top because I realized that it didn’t feel good to be an incapable human being. It was quite possibly the thing holding me back socially. I had to figure this shit out.

These physical feats were all things that seemed IMPOSSIBLE to me before I actually did them.

My vision for Figarelle’s Fitness stemmed from the realization that being a capable human being is extremely important on many levels. Most people will go through life listening to the “gym teachers;” the people who tell them to settle for the bare minimum and who don’t encourage them to go beyond that. Most people don’t realize that they need to listen to the voice inside of them that tells them they CAN do whatever the hell they want. I’ve learned over the years that not everyone is great at listening to or trusting their inner voice. They need a little outside motivation, and that’s where a good fitness coach comes in.

Running my second half-marathon with my amazing wife by my side.

Running my second half-marathon with my amazing wife by my side.

I started Figarelle’s Fitness because I wanted to be in a position to help change another person’s mindset about themselves because I’d experienced for myself that it was possible to see things differently. I wanted to help guide people in a different, more empowered direction, and I wanted to encourage them to do the things that excited, and maybe even scared them because those are the things that help us grow. The difficult things are what make us stronger. They make us better.

If your “vision” is to learn to enjoy running, do a pull-up or climb a rope, my suggestion is to start practicing right now. Believe that you can do it. There’s nothing stopping you except your own self-limiting beliefs about what’s possible. The only way to be a runner, is to run. The only way to learn how to do a pull-up, is to practice pull-ups. Whatever you want to do, you have to do if you want to get better at it. 

Figarelle’s Fitness is all about doing the things that you never thought you could do. We’re about helping you discard old, damaging beliefs about yourself and your physical and mental abilities. I’ve never considered us a “gym,” I’ve always looked at where we train and seen it as our science lab.

We’re experimenting, we’re learning, we’re teaching and we’re getting results. 

When a client walks in to train with us and says, “I’ve never done that before,” it’s our cue to make sure that person achieves that specific thing they’ve never been able to do. Because it’s not that thing, that they want. It’s the perception of themselves, post-accomplishment that they’re after. It’s happiness that they want. We are a company that seeks out the most dedicated, driven people who want to be happy and successful and who will stop at nothing until they attain what they want. Their goals are special to them, and it’s our responsibility to hold those goals as sacred as they do and help make them happen.

Sometimes all you need is someone standing in your corner saying, “you can do this.”

– S.F