Every so often I get asked how Josh and I started our business, which kind of leads to our “how we met” story. Today, I want to share that with you in hopes that it challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and do the hard thing. Because if I didn’t do exactly that, there would probably be no SD Evolution, and maybe not even a “Josh and Alessandra”.
Josh and I are both from Connecticut. We grew up on opposite sides of the state but went to college at the same University (CCSU). Despite having mutual friends, we never actually met each other in college, which is probably a blessing in disguise knowing how different we both were during that time.
Josh graduated a year before me and ran a local gym in his hometown for a while before making a big move out to San Diego to live close to his brother, Zac who was stationed out there with the U.S. Marine Corps.
About a month later, I graduated (finally) and also moved out to San Diego for my final internship for school. Up until this move, I never lived further than 30 minutes from my family and aside from knowing a few acquaintances who were already in San Diego, I was completely on my own. I’d be lying a little if I said I wasn’t scared moving across the country with my entire life in two suitcases, but there was comfort knowing that I’d be coming home at the end of the summer once my internship ended.
I was in San Diego for approximately 5 days before Josh and I connected on Facebook. He slid into my DMs knowing I had moved out there and after a few messages back and forth we realized his work was really close to where my apartment was. We ended up grabbing fish taco’s on my first #TacoTuesday and saw each other every single day after that lunch “date” (that I didn’t know was an actual date HA).
About 2 months later, I moved in with him knowing my internship (and short-term apartment lease) were ending soon. He got me a job at the 24 Hour Fitness he was personal training at, and at the time we both had our own separate fitness “brands”. I put brands in quotes because we weren’t really doing much with them. They were more of a showcase of our own personal fitness journeys.
We both knew climbing the corporate ladder at 24 was NOT the dream. We both had big dreams of opening a gym or working for ourselves somehow, so we decided that if we joined forces, we’d be much more successful than trying to run two separate entities (I was “fitgirlmoves”, Josh was “JCSfitness”…RIP) and we created what is now SD Evolution.
Our business started as running weekend bootcamps. We joined a website called “Meetup”, got a small group together and woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings to run an outdoor bootcamp at the park. It was FREE for a good month, and $10 per person after that.
Our manager at 24 found out we were doing this, and gave us an ultimatum: keep our jobs and trash the bootcamp, or be fired.
We opted to quit. We had long conversations with both of our parents, and decided that THIS was our time to give it a shot. We weren’t married, didn’t have kids, had a small cushion saved up to cover rent and groceries, and we were in a prime fitness location in Southern California. So we took the leap.
We continued with bootcamps, we added personal training clients and did EVERYTHING in that park since we didn’t have enough money to rent out a facility.
It ended up being pretty successful, but we knew that our hearts and long-term goals were not in San Diego, but with our families back home, so we decided to take another leap and drive back across the country to do this surrounded by the people we loved.
We continued working with a lot of our San Diego clients through email. We sent over training programs and nutrition advice virtually and that’s kind of how we got thrown into online coaching.From that point forward, there were a lot of bumps in the road. Josh ended up getting a full-time position so we could build our cushion back up. I eventually did too because we still weren’t married and my time on my parents’ health insurance was running out. We were training clients on the weekends, and our online client list was growing by the month.
So we hustled and literally were the definition of “the grind never stops“ for about 2.5 years. We worked our 9-5 jobs, and would come home and work on our clients and business. Eventually, we realized that we LOVED working with our online clients a lot more than in-person clients. It allowed us to work from anywhere, we didn’t have to commit and schedule around other people’s lives and we could still achieve our mission of making others healthier and happier humans.
At the end of 2017, SD Evolution finally became full-time (again).
We quit our corporate jobs (again). We put our FULL hearts and minds into scaling our business to support us both and finally were at a place where we realized, THIS is what we are meant to do.
So as you can see, our business and love stories are intertwined. There was a lot of trial and error, a lot of peaks and valleys, but what kind of success doesn’t have that, right?
All I know, is I love doing life with this guy. I love the life we’ve built for ourselves, and I’m pretty dang excited to see what’s next for us both.
I hope if nothing else this story has inspired you to get out there and chase those dreams. Do the uncomfortable. Sacrifice now to succeed later. If you’re passionate, caring and in it for the right reasons, your dream life will be everything you’ve hoped for.