So there I was, lying on the floor, exhausted, but with an unmistakable grin of accomplishment and pride.
I had done it! It was perhaps the most accomplished I had felt for a single moment of my life up to then. My wife and I had taken the lead on building the second CrossFit gym in our country, and we did it all (from the moment we saw the location and made the decision, to opening our doors to clients) in only 3 months. We had not planned to open a box and had brainstormed meanwhile finding the location, but in fact the day after we saw a location and the idea clicked, was when we began with incorporating the legal name, bank accounts, CrossFit affiliate application, remodeling (and demolishing), and all the countless things a new business required (which we obviously had to learn right then and there, the hard way, through trial and error).
But, it was done, equipment had just been unloaded, and classes had just begun. Everything was great, except for the fever and adrenal fatigue that I abruptly felt creeping and spreading in my body in that precise moment.
The reason why I’m going all the way back to 2010, is because right then and there I thought that I was done, that my mission was accomplished, at least in my CrossFit and Functional Fitness career. I felt my mission had been to set up a gym and together with my wife change lives by teaching them how to move and enjoy a life of fitness and exercise.
It had not been the first business plan I had created, I had created a few already, but most stayed at meetings and beers with friends (literally, since we almost founded the first microbrewery in my country), but this was the first time I had finally dared to go all in. I was clear that I still had a lot of administrative work left to be learned and improved, but I thought that was that, that I, Thomas Patton, had made it already…to some extent.
Not quite. A few months later Reebok joined the scene and that brought some stress along with lessons in collaboration and negotiations (although we can’t complain, Reebok ended up being a blessing and marvelous partner for us). Then the CrossFit Regionals were announced in our neck of the woods, and that required mastering some team work and a mindset beyond the doors of our box and community.
With a little bit of hard work, the right mindset and our hearts in the good place (and some fast forward on this personal story) I became the Latin America Regional Media Director for CrossFit HQ (position I held for 3 years until the Regions consolidated from 17 to 8) and my wife Adriana earned her position in the CrossFit HQ Level 1 Seminar Staff.
What did become apparent by this point was that the gym was not the end all be all like we had thought it to be. That all our efforts for the gym where merely a stepping stone, that it was only a means to many paths. That there would be a lot more opportunities (and hard work required) if we would go with the flow, and keep the right mindset, heart, and work ethic. I started referring to our life’s journey after that first WOD we ever did as: “synchronicity”.
And that’s how the Hall Pass Watch came into existence. For reasons I have explained in short bursts in our social media, the Q+A in this website, and for sure I will detail in more blog posts down the line, the idea for the watch became the next stepping stone.
One day in January 2013, while trying to do some Snatch EMOMs off to the side, while regular class was going on (I was probably late to class after having to stop to deposit checks in the bank, or having to talk with the receptionist for longer than I could have hoped for), I thought about a watch or any personal device that could do what the wall timer did, and perhaps a little more. And why had I never heard of any Customizable Intervals yet if there were countless reasons why either of these would be tremendously valuable to any athlete, regardless of their current fitness level? By that time I was reading every single article on the CrossFit Journal, all community websites, and all the magazines related to our sport (I’m not exaggerating) so I was almost certain there weren’t any similar efforts at a watch.
A quick internet (I actually wrote interval instead of internet while on autopilot back there) search, and I now had a wormhole of opportunities and challenges.
Could I take on the challenge of outsourcing electrical engineering services, watch development, manufacturing, shipping, non-disclosure agreements, prototypes, trademarks, patents, and all of the energy and investment that such a project would take?
You bet ya! Actually, I think I did not have a choice, it was meant to be. Some fever and adrenal fatigue had been defeated before, plus, the tool was needed, and if I already knew it was needed. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I lived the rest of my life thinking: “What If”.
And that is that, for now, this and many stories shall continue.
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