First, I have to apologize for the delay in the next chapter of the story of Richmond Hill Muay Thai. Thank you all for your patience - without further delay, here is part two!
I finally made the decision and decided to venture out and build Richmond Hill Muay Thai. I had $1000 dollars in my account and I spent half of that buying pads and the other half on a deposit at a community center in Richmond Hill. From 2016 to 2018 I spent countless hours driving to the community center not knowing if anyone would come. But I went with the focus of irregardless of if it's 1 person or 20 people, I would knock each class out of the park.
Week after week, I went to the community center and no one would come. Was it discouraging? ABSOLUTELY! I would drive from Brampton to Richmond Hill full of energy and vitality, and stand outside eagerly waiting for someone to come, but no one came. I would wait outside of the classroom door, ready to invite any and all who would come, but no one came. This experience lasted roughly 7 to 8 long months. every I didn't admit to anyone that no one came because I felt like I would let those that cared for me down. Each night on my drive back to Brampton, I would be completely gutted about no one attending my class. I felt like a failure. But I knew deep down that what I was going through was necessary. I had sacrificed so much up to this point. What was a couple more years of this? So by the time I got home I was over the feelings of defeat, and I would start writing in my journal and envisioning the next stages of the gym and my future.
I saw the future of what it could be, and I just needed time and patience. Someone would eventually show up. Then one person did show up! I was excited and I was finally able to practice my craft. P.C Cameron was the first one to join the tribe and then shortly after, Adrienne arrived. With these two I had the opportunity to finally do what I set out to do. I was overjoyed and thrilled to teach because they gave me the opportunity to develop as a teacher and a leader. I made a lot of mistakes, but I was always ready to correct those errors. I had two students, and soon after, P.C Artu came into our class and I had 3 people coming consistently. Financially the classes were not making a penny. But the joy and excitement I felt teaching those classes could not be measured by money. I finally found something I was meant to do.
Eventually our tribe moved into a better community center and we spent the next couple of years there. I consistently had new people to join the movement. I call it a movement because I honestly felt that Richmond Hill Muay Thai was a necessity for the community.
To this day, I still feel strongly about that statement, so much so that you will see the slogan "Building the Tribe" written on the wall of our gym. As RHMT continues to grow, I stop and remind myself of where I came from and why I continue to do this, and the answer is simple: The Movement...