by J.T. Wyman
Anyone who has ever embarked on a complete career transition knows that it does not happen without some highs and lows: emotional, financial and geographical. While finding an organization you want to work for, applying for a position and interviewing can certainly be exciting at points, they are not without their bouts of stress and self doubt. All of this assuming one knows what organization, field or even industry they want to pursue in the first place! For myself, I stood at the shore of what appeared to be an endless sea of possibility and direction. I had finally reached that point where I no longer had a pre-determined, obvious path. This required me to awaken a part of me I had not yet known before, perhaps because I never really had to until then. Throughout my previous career, it was all about the journey, taking every next step I could continuing to do what I loved. Now I needed to make a conscious and life changing decision.
At the age of four I was skating around the frozen ponds of the western suburbs of Minneapolis and, from that point forward, I developed a deep love for the sport of hockey. Professional aspirations in hockey were a distant dream in my mind, something so far out of reach the thoughts themselves were fleeting. My focus remained in the day to day, enjoying every opportunity I was afforded to step on the ice, whether it be with teammates in the rink or with friends on the pond. As fate would have it, hard work, luck and timing landed me a 7-year career in professional hockey which spanned two continents, 7 teams and allowed me to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing in the NHL.
As my career rolled along, I often thought of what my life after hockey would entail. I had an idea of what inspired me, but little knowledge of how to translate that into a new career. As my final season came to an end, I stood at the precipice of the rest of my life with nothing more than a dream to cling to. I wanted to work in a young, fast paced company where I would be forced to learn quickly and wear many hats. I also wanted to be inspired by my work and the thing I kept coming back to was wanting to help people improve their lives in one way or another.
Then, last April, I got my first glimpse of Alchemy’s culture and the type of people it attracted. I began to attend more regularly and finally signed up to take Alchemy 101. When Tyler Quinn wrote Alchemy’s mission statement on the board, I made my decision: “Help people improve their lives, through innovative fitness that works”. I wasn’t certain at the time that Alchemy would be my final destination, after all it might not be, but I was certain of one thing that day, that Alchemy would play an integral part in getting me to where I wanted to be. I believe that, however uniquely, Alchemy plays that role for all of us who walk through its doors as we all continue the pursuit of our own legends. As I continue to learn, pursuing my legend isn’t so much about where I land, but what it takes to get there.
J.T. Wyman is a coach at Alchemy North Loop. When he isn’t changing living, you can find him long boarding, squatting, or making the perfect hard boiled egg.