You know the term "never a dull moment"? Well, never has a term rung more true for the Ham family than that one. As if welcoming our third child, Elliot Grace, into the world wasn't enough, God has been working other things into our family. You see, back in August when Matt was off to help me with the kids, he and his best friend were approached about their interest in buying a gym. Both of the families started praying hard as to what God would have us do. Matt and I felt like this opportunity was an answer to a long line of prayers for Matt to be able to spend more time with the family, the other family felt like it may be more than they are able to take on at this time. Then the current owners decided that they weren't as ready to let the gym go as they thought, so the deal was pulled before it even really got going.
When Matt and I heard this, instead of being disappointed or upset, we felt peace about it... but we also felt that desire to continue pursuing the idea of opening our own gym. We continued praying that if it was God's will, that He would keep us both in agreement about the next steps forward and that he would open doors to make it possible. We both decided that the first step would be for us to get certified as personal trainers and take a nutrition course. After much research we decided to go with the school that has been around for the longest and has the best reputation, ACE fitness (American Council on Exercise). This is a non-profit organization that offers many continuing education courses after we become certified. One program I am looking forward to most is the group fitness and Matt is really excited about the Sports Performance Training, so he can open the gym up to high school boys during summer.
Next, we started thinking about names. We had a few ideas that had been tossed around several years back, when the dream of owning a gym was "when we retire". They were clever plays on our last name and Matt's profession, such as Hamstrings and Outlaw fitness, but they just didn't feel right. I spent all night talking with my SIL (who has a marketing degree) and she had some great ideas too. That night before I went to bed, I prayed "God, I know this may sound trivial in the grand scheme of things but can you help us find a name that portrays the image we want to set forth." We already know that we want to make it clear to anyone who sees us to know that our focus is God first, family second. The next morning, as I was waking up the word iron popped into my head. It fit seeing how they call working out "pumping iron". I got on Facebook, as I do most mornings, and a friend of mine had posted a verse on her news feed. It read "Just as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17", I knew this wasn't coincidence. This is just what we want to say to our clients, we want a place where people develop new relationships and encourage one another to be the best that they can be, not just with fitness but in all aspects of life. A quick google search showed that the name had not been taken and so it is with much eagerness that we are going to file our DBA as "Iron Fitness Training Center".
Our next step will require a lot of FAITH on our parts and PRAYERS from friends and family. This dream all hangs in the balance of finding a small business loan. We have to trust that if we cant find someone to invest in us, then it just isn't part of God's plan, and if we do find the money then we have to believe that God will allow us to be profitable enough to pay back the loan. Both scenarios are scary to think of but I know that God knows better than we do! Our hope is that no matter what happens, God will receive all the glory.
So next week we begin studying for our personal trainer license and apply for our name. If you find yourself thinking about us, please say a quick prayer for us and our journey. We still have so far to go, but we are trying to take it one step at a time... right behind God.